Marlins 6, Cardinals 5
Back in St. Louis (did it really snow there again today?), the Cardinals hosted media members during an extensive tour of Ballpark Village. Clearly I was unable to attend, but the photos I’ve been seeing of the new venue look absolutely stunning. Count me among those excited to roam around the complex in April. Though I couldn’t be there for today’s media gathering, someone did fill in for me, so look for more on Ballpark Village’s imminent opening on cardinals.com later today.
Down here in Florida, the Marlins and Cardinals endured a 46-minute rain delay in the sixth inning, which was followed by Miami scoring three unanswered runs. All three came off Seth Maness, who has not had the smoothest of springs. He’s now been scored upon in five of his 10 outings (9 2/3 innings).
Despite the results, Maness is going to be in the Cardinals’ Opening Day bullpen. The club is still trying to fill the final ‘pen spot with either Keith Butler, Jorge Rondon and Scott McGregor. The Cardinals will not take a second from that trio and send Maness to Triple-A.
Asked about Maness’ struggles, manager Mike Matheny said the carousel of catchers that the right-hander has been throwing to may be compounding his issues. Maness makes his money with the sinker, but he has not been throwing it as much as he was last year when having success in St. Louis. Matheny suggested a disconnect between Maness and the catchers could be one reason why.
“You see a different style [of pitch selection], and that’s something Seth needs to take control of regardless of who is behind the plate,” Matheny said. “To answer your question [of whether we’re concerned], no. Would we like to see him have some more confidence? I think the answer is yes. Would we like to see him have better results? The answer is yes. Do we like to win Spring Training games? Same answer. All that put together, it’s not what we wanted to see today. But he has had some good outings and we have seen enough of his stuff and the movement to know that he’s not far.”
Matheny was not all that pleased with the umpires’ decision to resume Tuesday’s game after a brief, but intense, storm passed through the area. One of the biggest problems was the groundscrew could not get the tarp over the first-base line because of the weight the water added to the tarp. By the time the rain stopped, that line was one long puddle.
General manager John Mozeliak went onto the field to discuss the situation with the groundscrew, but ultimately it was the umpires’ call to make and CB Bucknor wanted the game to continue. Why? “He was having a good day,” Matheny quipped.
Matheny did not send several of his starting position players back onto the field after the delay as a precautionary measure. Carlos Martinez, who was warming up when the storm him, did not appear in the game, either.
Matheny had planned to have several of his starters play a full nine innings today.
“We played and nobody got hurt,” Matheny said, “so we’re fortunate.”
Some other odds and ends… Jason Motte threw in a simulated game on Tuesday. He had hoped this would be his last such session before being cleared to appear in a Minor League game. … Jorge Rondon has still not been scored upon this spring, but he’s had a tendency to make things interesting. On Tuesday, it took a sensational doubly play started by Daniel Descalso to escape an inning in which he allowed one hit and walked two. … Mark Ellis got his first spring work at third base. Matheny also tapped into the versatility of other infielders. He played Pete Kozma at short and second. Descalso spent time at third and short. … The Cardinals have not yet announced who will start for the Triple-A affiliate in Friday’s game.
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