'Summer Camp' for the Cardinals on the 4th of July

Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon throws batting practice on July 4 at Busch Stadium. (Post-Dispatch photo by Robert Cohen)

QUESTION: Here’s the summer camp version of our spring training exercise: Who has surprised you so far in the workouts/scrimmages? (Positive or negative.) Phrasing it another way, who looks good, and who needs more work?

COMMISH: Daniel Ponce de Leon looks just as good in summer camp as he did in the spring. It will be interesting to see how he’s employed because he doesn’t figure in the rotation now. But I can see the righthander being a bridge between the starter and the closer — such as innings six through eight.

Dylan Carlson also has shown patience at bat and good speed in the field. He may not be here for the first game. But he’ll be here in August.

No particular surprises, because it appears everyone was diligent about staying ready during the four-month down time. Perhaps you could say 38-year-old Adam Wainwright was a surprise by how effectively he navigated five innings the other day, but we should have learned by now that little should surprise us about Waino.

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