Walters Gains Perspective

Reliever focuses on the now





ST. LOUIS—Righthander P.J. Walters cannot be sure how many opportunities he'll have to make an impression in the majors, but he has learned not to worry about what's ahead and focus on what's now.

Walters, 25, shuttled between Triple-A Memphis and St. Louis as the big league club reeled from injuries to starting pitchers in May. Walters earned the first crack at the openings with a strong start to his season, but after a wobbly appearance he was back with Memphis.

"I've learned to focus on things that are important at that moment . . . not things that might be important in 10 years," Walters, an 11th-round pick in 2006 said.
His perspective comes from tragedy.

On the eve of spring training, Walter's wife Brittney gave birth to their first child. Annabelle Faith was born two months premature, and Walters said she arrived with the understanding that every day spent together was a day the doctors couldn't guarantee.

"We got 51," Walters said. "That's much better than five minutes."

His newborn daughter died of complications related to her premature birth, and after spending several weeks at home, Walters went back to work. He made three starts for Memphis, allowing one run in 19 innings.

"If anything has been a surprise as far as pitching, it's the pitches," Walters said. "Not going through all of spring training and having it all shortened, there are some days you expect to be a little off this early in the season. It has kind of fallen into place for me."

REDBIRD CHIRPS

• The Cardinals signed 33 of their draft picks within two weeks of the draft, including third-round pick Samuel Tuivailala, a prep shortstop from San Mateo, Calif.

• Shelby Miller returned to action June 17 after missing several starts to fine-tune his secondary pitches. The Cardinals removed Miller from the low Class A Quad Cities rotation to avoid piling on innings and to give him a series of bullpens to refine his offspeed pitches.