Cardinals’ Pedro Pages Gets Low To Move Up

The call came from a player he had not met with an invitation he could not refuse.

Catcher Pedro Pages flew from Miami to Austin last offseason. He got a car and drove to a facility in San Antonio to work with the Yankees’ Gold Glover catcher Jose Trevino for a week. Their agent connected them, and Pages wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

What happened next changed his standing.

It started by changing his squatting.

“Long days,” Pages said. “We would start at 6 a.m. and finish 1 p.m. Blocking balls. Receiving (pitches). Talking. Then we would hit. It was mostly catching—all about catching. That is why I went out there.”

Through all that catching, Trevino suggested that Pages, 24, drop a knee. The younger catcher had always caught upright but had struggled to stick strikes on low pitches.

Since signing out of Venezuela in 2019, Pages had been continuously working on his hip flexibility and mobility trying to squeeze his body into that mold of the catchers like Yadier Molina he watched on video. Trevino showed him another way.

With a knee down, he’d already be lower.

“I feel more mobile down there, more athletic down there, and I can still move while I’m down there,” Pages said. “That work with (Trevino) for a week—that’s what kick-started the whole thing.”

The results of the change moved Pages up the Cardinals’ depth chart. Through 39 games for Double-A Springfield, Pages hit .273/.361/.399 with two home runs. He impressed in spring training mostly for the new look of his catching.

He graded out as among the best pitch-framers in camp, including big leaguers.

Pages’ journey did not stop with the trip to Texas. He remained in touch with Trevino, and he gravitated toward teammate Willson Contreras and peer Ivan Herrera all spring. Pages sought to do in spring what he did for a week in Trevino—watch, listen, borrow and synthesize.

“I take some of it, mix, match and then put together what makes myself a better catcher.”


— The Cardinals returned 2019 first-round pick Zack Thompson to Triple-A Memphis for the purpose of building arm strength and sharpening his alternate pitches so that he could be available as a starter at some point this year or in 2024, when there will be as many as four openings in the rotation. Thompson had recorded a 2.72 ERA in 33 games in the majors, 32 as a reliever.

— South Korean outfielder Won-Bin Cho, the first amateur player signed by the Cardinals out of Asia, thundered through his first 20 games this May at Low-A Palm Beach. The lefthanded-hitting outfielder batted .352/.459/.394 with 14 walks and 17 strikeouts while going 8-for-8 on stolen bases. At 19 years old, Cho has added strength and, through his first 201 pro at-bats, adjusted rapidly to the pro level.

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