Marlins 6, Cardinals 5
The Cardinals’ roster has come into clarity today — and not just because the team sent five players out of camp after Saturday’s game. News that Jason Motte is expected to begin the year on the DL erased the suspense of how the Cardinals were going to fill two open roster spots with three candidates (Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Fernando Salas). With Motte out of the picture indefinitely, all three of those pitchers should now find a place on the Opening Day roster.
The Cardinals still haven’t crowned a fifth starter, though indications are that it will be Miller. Not only is he starting (instead of Kelly) on Monday, but Kelly seems the more natural fit in a bullpen that now needs another arm.
With this being sorted out, I would project the Opening Day roster to look like this:
POSITION PLAYERS: Yadier Molina, Tony Cruz, Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, David Freese, Ty Wigginton, Carlos Beltran, Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Shane Robinson
PITCHERS: Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, Mitchell Boggs, Edward Mujica, Trevor Rosenthal, Randy Choate, Fernando Salas, Marc Rzepczynski
DL: Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal, Jason Motte
Lance Lynn’s line wasn’t of the standout sort on Saturday, but both he and manager Mike Matheny deemed it a step forward in Lynn’s spring. The right-hander has one more start remaining before he pitches the third game of the Cardinals’ season.
Lynn threw 61 of his 94 pitches for strikes against the Marlins and allowed four hits, three earned runs and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five.
“I thought he got better every start and today was a step in that same direction,” Matheny said. “It was good to see. He had real good, heavy sink, which you could see by the groundballs. I thought he did a nice job.”
Lynn continues to try to solidify his delivery motion, which has been affected by the 40 pounds he dropped over the winter. In between his previous start and this one, Lynn threw two bullpen sessions to work specifically on that issue.
“It is something that we’re really going to concentrate on and get to that comfort zone to where I don’t have to worry about that anymore and just worry about pitching,” Lynn said. “There were times today when I was still thinking about it, which is part of it, but I had more consistency with it today. That’s a good thing to build off of for the next one.”
According to MLB.com reporter Brian McTaggart, the Astros are close to an agreement with infielder Ronny Cedeno, who was released by the Cardinals earlier this week.
The Cardinals sent five players to Minor League camp — RHP Seth Maness, 2B Kolten Wong, C J.R. Towles, C Audry Perez, OF Justin Christian — after Saturday’s game. For all the talk there’s been about the Cardinals’ young pitching (Kelly and Miller and Rosenthal and Michael Wacha, etc.), Maness’ name has probably unfairly been overlooked. The organization has been very, very pleased by what it saw from Maness this spring; and perhaps that should be no surprise. He was the organization’s pitcher of the year last season.
Keep an eye on him as he begins the year starting in Triple-A.
There’s no clear answer as to when Carlos Beltran (right toe injury) will make his next start. … Marc Rzepczynski took the loss on Saturday in his first outing pitching on back-to-back days. The Cardinals are going to start having all of their relievers pitch on consecutive days to better simulate regular season work. … Ty Wigginton went 0-for-3 on Saturday, dropping his average to .093. He is hitless in his last 18 at-bats, dating back to March 7.
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