Day 25: Cardinals (2-4-2) @ Nationals (6-3)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

wpid-0309140956.jpgGreetings from Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla., for the second part of the Cardinals’ home-and-home spring series against the Nationals. Saturday’s game ended in a tie.

Peter Bourjos returns to the lineup (batting leadoff) after missing a week due to a hamstring cramp. At the same time, a (right) hamstring issue is now going to keep Oscar Taveras off the field. He took three at-bats on Saturday before being pulled from the DH spot and will not play Sunday. Taveras did travel to Viera with the club and participated in pregame workouts and batting practice.

Manager Mike Matheny did not speculate how long Taveras would be sidelined with this issue, but every missed day is one less opportunity for Taveras to make an impression. At this point, I would think it is really a long shot for him to make the Opening Day roster. He’s just not getting sufficient playing time to be ready and push someone else (Matt Adams?) from the lineup.

In other news, lefty Marco Gonzales, the Cardinals’ top pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, will head out to Minor League camp (likely on Monday) to continue getting ready for the season there. Gonzales pitched two innings on Feb. 28, but has not taken the mound since due to left forearm discomfort. Matheny said an MRI taken of Gonzalez’s elbow showed no structural issues, but the setback has kept Gonzales from getting any further Grapefruit League exposure.

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