JUPITER, Fla. -- John Brebbia stepped outside the Cardinals clubhouse on Tuesday morning and took in a deep breath, closed his eyes and looked up to the sun shining down on the Cardinals complex in Jupiter.
“It’s here, it’s Florida, it is coming in hot,” Brebbia said later, after he played catch with fellow reliever Tyler Webb on the Cardinals' backfield. “It’s really exciting. It’s baseball. We’re outside, we’re wearing cleats right now -- which we haven’t done since our last game in D.C., so that’s awesome.”
Spring Training was what Brebbia was referring to as "here," as Cardinals pitchers and catchers reported to the club's complex on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s first official workout. Many of them, like Brebbia, have been here for a few days as they prepare for what 2020 will bring to the defending National League Central champions.
And despite a relatively quiet offseason after being swept by the Nationals in the NL Championship Series, the Cardinals believe they can outperform expectations this year, defend their division title and return to the postseason.
“It’s exciting, because we went to the NLCS,” Brebbia said. “Did it go how we wanted it to? No. But there’s not anyone in that clubhouse, or any of the clubhouses in there, that didn’t get better through the offseason.
“I think there’s a tendency to look at things like, ‘Oh, it’s the same people. Aren’t you just going to get the same result?’ But baseball is a fluid game. The guys in here are so good. I think it’s fair to say that we had an extremely good team last year and we’re showing up to Spring Training better.”
Jack Flaherty succinctly summed up his feelings for the Cardinals’ upcoming season.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
With pitchers, catchers and most of the position players filling up the Cardinals clubhouse, here are some of the nuts and bolts to know about Cardinals Spring Training.
Pitchers and catchers report date
Tuesday, Feb. 11
First pitchers and catchers workout
Wednesday, Feb. 12
Full squad report date
Sunday, Feb. 16
First full-squad workout
Monday, Feb. 17
There are also plenty of new faces in the Cardinals’ list of non-roster invitees, including some top prospects.
Top prospects to know
That non-roster invitee list is headlined by the Cardinals’ top three prospects: outfielder Dylan Carlson, third baseman Nolan Gorman and left-hander Matthew Liberatore. All three are ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list -- Carlson at No. 17, Gorman at No. 47 and Liberatore at No. 58.
Twenty-two of the 30 players on the Cardinals’ Top 30 list will be in big league camp, including catcher Andrew Knizner (No. 4), third baseman Elehuris Montero (No. 5) and the Cardinals’ first-round Draft pick in 2019, left-hander Zack Thompson (No. 6).
Where is the facility?
The Cardinals share their Spring Training facility with the Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, located at 4751 Main Street in Jupiter, Fla.
Can fans attend workouts?
Yes, on the back practice fields of the complex. Schedules are typically posted closer to the date, and more information about workouts and other stadium policies can be found here.
The Cardinals will begin their Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday, Feb. 22. They will host the Mets, with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CT.
First TV game
The Cardinals’ first Spring Training game on Feb. 22 will be broadcast on FOX Sports Midwest, and it can be heard on the team’s radio station, KMOX.
FOX Sports Midwest and KMOX will broadcast 15 Spring Training games this season.
One other notable game
On Monday, March 9, the Cardinals head to the other side of Florida to face the Twins at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers. They’ll stay there for another day; on Tuesday, March 10, St. Louis will visit JetBlue Park to face the Red Sox.
With this road trip coming about two weeks ahead of Opening Day, the Cardinals could begin to see what their lineup might look like.
Last game in Florida
The Cardinals’ final Spring Training game is on Sunday, March 22, when they visit the Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Any additional exhibitions before the regular season?
On Monday, March 23, the Cardinals will help the Rangers break in the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, for an exhibition game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.
Opening Day date, time, opponent and location
Opening Day is Thursday, March 26, this year, and the Cardinals will begin the 2020 season at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Reds will host the Cards at 3:10 p.m. CT.