Day 35: Twins (7-8) @ Cardinals (6-9)
The Cardinals had their final off day of the spring on Tuesday, which now brings the club to its final stretch of nine games in nine days before making a brief stop in Memphis and then to Cincinnati. The biggest decision still looming for the Cardinals is with regards to the fifth starter. Carlos Martinez gets his next chance to audition today.
Second baseman Mark Ellis remains out of the lineup with left knee tendonitis, though he said on Wednesday that he is “definitely on the up and up.” An MRI showed no reason for concern, and Ellis expects to be back in the lineup soon.
Martinez, if efficient, should be able to pitch into the middle innings of today’s game. Randy Choate, Pat Neshek, Sam Freeman, Seth Maness, Keith Butler and Jorge Rondon will be available in relief. This will be Neshek’s first Grapefruit League appearance since last Thursday. His wife delivered their son later that evening, and Neshek has been spending most of his time with his family since the birth. He did throw seven pitches in a Minor League game on Monday.
Also a reminder that if you want to join in the By Gosh Bracket Challenge, you’ll need to sign up (link here) before games start on Thursday. The password is Cardinals.
Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Instagram (LangoschMLB) and Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com)