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Matt Carpenter takes to the field before spring training begins on Monday

Matt Carpenter sizes up the pitchers during their early bullpen sessions on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in Jupiter, Fla. Spring training officially begins on Monday. Photo by Derrick Goold, dgoold@post-dispatch.com

QUESTION: Doesn't reporting early make for a too-long spring training for some players? Does it put pressure on other players to report early? I would show up on time, ready to go, but not necessarily early, as to avoid burnout.

GOOLD: It does. It does. And don't think some players and officials have taken note that it is harder for players to talk about the length of spring training when some are reporting, voluntarily, to make it longer. It's on the mind of coaches, too, as they think about the workout schedules and try to avoid burnout.

Paul Goldschmidt talked about that the other day when I asked him about the reason for coming early -- and whether or not he might try to find a few days here in the near future not to be here just to avoid turning February into March and March always feeling like Groundhog Day. The pressure is there, too, especially for some of the young players.

I'll add that it doesn't seem to be as much unwanted pressure this spring. The Cardinals players who are here, particularly the infielders, have really sought this extra time together, willingly.

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