Day 31: Cardinals (5-7) @ Braves (7-10)
Joe Kelly makes his third start of the spring today during the Cardinals’ lone spring training visit to Champion Stadium in Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which I quickly realized this morning had been run over by young cheerleaders in town for a competition.
The DH spot is gone mostly for good now, as the Cardinals will begin having their pitchers bat today. The Cardinals, manager Mike Matheny clarified, will likely use a DH in their two upcoming trips to American League parks (Minnesota, Houston) but may or may not use it when AL teams visit them. Teams have the flexibility to choose how they fill that ninth spot. Consider that anomaly before you start reading too much into spring training records.
With Carlos Martinez looking strong so far in Grapefruit League play, it’s up to Kelly to at least hold serve as he vies for the final rotation spot. The Cardinals continue to let all six of their rotation candidates make starts, but the point is soon coming when the Cardinals won’t have those innings to provide to all of them.
The veterans who started Friday’s game in Kissimmee returned home afterward and another group of position players traveled north today. There was also a group of players that stayed overnight in the area to be available for both games.
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