Right-hander Chris Carpenter, the
Cardinals' prospective Opening Day starter, was being held back a bit this
spring anyway after his 273-inning load of the year before.
But he then was pushed
back even more because of persistent neck discomfort.
After seeing specialists
in Jupiter, Fla., Carpenter said he would remain in pitching limbo until the
team's medical staff has a clearer read on the source of his discomfort.
General manager John
Mozeliak confirmed that results of nerve testing were being sent to
St. Louis for
further evaluation. Mozeliak said there were no plans for Carpenter to return to
St. Louis for
Carpenter said that his
discomfort rose following a two-inning, 30-pitch live batting practice session
against Cardinals hitters on March 3. He said his discomfort had decreased but
that he and team had agreed that his program should be suspended until a
diagnosis was made.
"With the time we have
left in camp, it's best to wait until the rest of the reevaluation is done,"
Carpenter said. "I don't think anybody wants me to get back out there (until
more is known), not just me."
Carpenter has dealt
periodically with nerve issues for much of his time with the Cardinals, most
recently in August 2008.
"We have to be patient
and understand that it may take a few days before we determine what the future
looks like," Mozeliak said.
Manager Mike Matheny told
reporters not to read too much into it. "I understand you guys ( the media) talk
about panicking; that's what you guys do," Matheny said.
"The job we have around
here is not allowing anyone else to do the same thing until it's warranted.
Right now, everything is just research. We can't, at least I don't, know what
Carpenter, even if he missed another week, still likely would have three
exhibition starts to get ready for the April 4 opener at Miami. For the moment,
highly touted right-hander Shelby Miller, the club's top draft pick in 2009, is
taking Carpenter's turn.
If Carpenter, or anybody
else, would be sidelined for any length of time, right-hander Kyle McClellan
could step out of the bullpen as he did last spring when he wound up spending
the first two-thirds of the season in the rotation.
OF Carlos Beltran was
limited to DH duties early in the spring because of shoulder stiffness which was
not believed to be serious. The Cardinals had two long trips during the first
week of exhibition games and Beltran missed both.
RHP Adam Wainwright,
pitching for the first time since 2010 after missing last year because of Tommy
John elbow surgery, fanned two, including Joe Mauer, in two hitless, shutout
innings against the Minnesota Twins. He was throwing in the low 90s with
1B Matt Adams, voted the
outstanding player in the Class AA Texas League last year, knocked in seven of
the Cardinals' first 15 runs this spring as he served as the designated hitter.
Adams hit a grand slam and a three-run triple
and showed the ability to hit the ball to the opposite field. "I've got a simple
swing," Adams said. "I try to keep it that way
… just be short and quick to the ball."
Manager Mike Matheny gave
many of the Cardinals' young players some early game action before sending them
back to the minor league complex. Hard-throwing RHP Tyrell Jenkins, 19, pitched
a scoreless inning against Washington, and 2B Kolten Wong, the top pick
last year, delivered a key sacrifice fly in Matheny's first managerial win.
LHP Jaime Garcia, who
struggled last spring before coming on late in March, had a dominant first
Grapefruit League appearance, striking out four Boston Red Sox in two innings.
"All I'm worried about is getting better each day and being ready for opening
day," said Garcia, who fanned CF Jacoby Ellsbury and 2B Dustin Pedroia in
succession to start the game.
2B Tyler Greene was
playing well in the field, notably in pivoting double plays where he can use his
strong arm, and was reaching base often via hit or walk. So far, the position
seems to be his to lose.
Gold Glove CF Jim Edmonds
became the latest former Cardinals star to join the camp as an instructor.
Edmonds also has
showed some interest in some front-office possibility. "I've always wanted to
said. "I just never know how much of the day-to-day process would be on the
field or off the field. You never know what you're getting into until you take
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 - Number of
batters fanned by RHP Adam Ottavino in his first spring inning. One of the
batters reached base on a wild pitch.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Nobody wants to
come out here and stand around just to put on the uniform. That's not my thing.
The guys seemed to listen and want to be helped. If they don't, I'll know this
isn't my gig."
- Former Gold Glove CF Jim
Edmonds, on his first exposure in Cardinals camp as an
1. RHP Chris Carpenter
2. RHP Adam Wainwright
3. LHP Jaime Garcia
4. RHP Kyle Lohse
5. RHP Jake Westbrook
The return of Wainwright, a year
removed from elbow surgery, should made a good rotation even stronger. Garcia,
who has won in double figures twice in his first two full seasons, might be
ready for a breakthrough year if he can avoid being distracted during games.
But if Wainwright is right, the
Cardinals had the two aces (Wainwright, Carpenter) with which they figured they
would start last season.
RHP Jason Motte
RHP Fernando Salas
RHP Lance Lynn
RHP Kyle McClellan
RHP Eduardo Sanchez
LHP Marc Rzepczynski
LHP J.C. Romero
RHP Mitchell Boggs
Motte, a late-season success as a
closer, will be the Cardinals' ninth inning man at the start of the season.
Salas, who had 24 saves last year, will be a reliable setup man but the club is
hoping to find another veteran to help in late innings.
Lynn, a postseason success, might
begin the season at Class AAA Memphis if the club envisions him as a starter.
Rzepczynski is a versatile left-hander who can also retire right-handed hitters
and doesn't have to be employed only in situational roles.
1. SS Rafael Furcal
2. RF Carlos Beltran
3. LF Matt Holliday
4. 1B Lance Berkman
5. 3B David Freese
6. CF Jon Jay
7. C Yadier Molina
8. 2B Daniel Descalso
Newcomer Beltran could hit second,
third or fifth, although new manager Mike Matheny seems inclined to have
Holliday bat third. When OF-1B Allen Craig (knee surgery) returns in early May,
if not before, Beltran could move to center field against left-handed pitching.
RHP Shelby Miller may be on the
fast track to the majors. The 21-year-old Miller, who throws in the mid-90s, was
a combined 11-6 at Class A Quad Cities and Class AA Springfield last year. He is
fewer than three years removed from being the club's top pick in the 2009 draft.
Also to be watched is 24-year-old Erik Komatsu, a Rule 5 pick from Washington. Komatsu, a
left-handed-hitting outfielder, hit a combined .277 in the Milwaukee and Washington systems last