Boy if I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase “Don’t Blow Your Wad.”
Whether it was my high school crush, the first time I saw a 1968 Dodge Charger parked outside the local feed store in my home town, or the first time I tried an orange twist cone – I have many a time prematurely gotten excited over something.
Spring Training is a time where many of us fans will do just that – we fall in love with prospects, veterans coming off of injury who are hoping to return to form or the new guy who comes out of nowhere.
Many people have seemingly gotten their Spring Training erections already this year with our beloved St. Louis Cardinals.
Whether it be with Sandy Alcantara and the reports of him hitting over 100 miles per hour on the gun, the signing of Cuban star Jose Aldolis Garcia or Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn’s first appearances after injury plagued 2016 seasons.
This and we are only a handful of spring training games in.
Yes, excitement and arousal is at an all-time high, but let’s keep our expectations, and shorts in check.
Because it is only that – spring training.
There is plenty to be excited about, no doubt.
I mean, look at what is happening, Alcantara presents a glimmer of hope after we just lost our stud of a young ace in Alex Reyes to season-ending Tommy-John surgery.
Shoot, General Manager John Mozeliak even said he could pitch in the Major Leagues this year.
But let’s back up a bit – while the the kid can throw the heat, his lack of experience and his command (two causes for concern) showed in his first ST outing, allowing four runs, and needing almost 30 pitches to get just his first three outs.
He didn’t even finish his next inning.
The talent is there, but remember, excitement and happy feelings can be contained with a breeze or cool drink of water.
Don’t blow your wad just yet.
Off the mound, people also began clamoring for Jose Aldolis Garcia to be the instant fourth outfield option instead of Tommy Pham.
This for a guy who has yet to even take a swing in a Major League baseball game.
Or even in a spring training game.
Once again, let’s cool our jets.
The reigning-most valuable player of the Cuban league sure comes with a high pedigree, but time will tell on whether that talent will translate to the Major League level.
For our sakes, I hope the kid absolutely rakes and takes somebody’s spot.
But again, let’s not blow our wad just yet, give the guy a couple of swings first.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t blow your wad on our rehabbed pitching staff.
Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha certainly looked sharp at times this past week in their first assignments since rehabbing from horrific injuries sustained in 2016.
While this is cause for optimism, I urge caution once again.
Spring training is a very controlled atmosphere – pitch counts, batters faced, and even pitch velocity/level of exertion all determined before a guy even toes the rubber.
While Wacha and Lynn both took strides in the right direction, any fan saying they are completely back to starter form is both delusional and has completely blown their wad and is gearing up for a second helping of happy time.
They need to continue to build arm strength and progress in their movement to fully showcase their reliability as starters.
When watching Spring Training this year (and any year really)…
Just remember that it is just that – TRAINING. Players are there to work through injuries, fight for positions, work through kinks, etc.
It is a time for us as fans to get excited, evaluate what we see, blog about it and argue with each other over nonsense we have no real insight on, but not to overdue it.
And for good reason.
There is a LONG season ahead of us, and much is yet to be determined.
Simply put, don’t blow your wad Cardinals fans.
If you find yourself in a sudden state of arousal, just remember, all of us are just as excited, and April is just around the corner.
Save yourself for Opening Day at least, it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading.
For other tips on how to hold your load, follow @TonOfClayton