St. Louis Cardinals Camp Notes: March 12

News from St. Louis Cardinals spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla. includes a GM update on pitching.

Searching for neither starter or reliever


Much was made last week when a comment from General Manager John Mozeliak was interpreted to mean that he is more inclined to bring in an external reliever rather than a starter. The context was if Kyle McClellan claims the fifth starter role.


The key is that neither move is anywhere on the horizon.


I asked Mo about it. He made it clear the "likelihood is that we will stay from within". "High" was his reply when I asked what the chance of the situation remaining that way through the remainder of camp.


Cazana not traveling


Outfielder Amaury Cazana hopes to remain with Memphis this season rather than returning to Mexico to play as he did in 2008 and 2009. The Cuban native lives in Miami with his wife, who was born in Mexico. As we talked about his global travels as a ballplayer, Cazana admitted that he had looked into the idea of playing in Korea, but decided against it.


Descalso and the gloves


I asked infielder Daniel Descalso if he uses a different glove when playing third base. Regularly a second baseman, Descalso does use a bigger glove – all of ¼ inch. He moves up to 11 ¾ inch leather at the hot corner from his standard 11 ½. When I asked him if he could really tell the difference, he chuckled and said that he just feels better that way.


Matt Carpenter's glove love


When asked to play right field for the first time in his professional career on Friday, third baseman Matt Carpenter did not have an outfielder's glove. He had to borrow Allen Craig's, he told me on Saturday. "I have my own now," was Carpenter's closing. It will be interesting to see how often he is asked to use it.


Carpenter home cooking


Camp sensation Carpenter told me that his Dad was in town for two games last week and he went 5-for-5 during that time. More family is on the way next week.


Craig's body check


Turned around on a blast to right field by Detroit's Miguel Cabrera during Friday's game, Allen Craig got turned around and missed the ball on a diving catch on the warning track. He slid into the wall, but was apparently unhurt. I asked him about it on Saturday. Craig admitted initial concern. "I did a body check before I got up, but I am ok," he said.


Rasmus not concerned


Colby Rasmus is not concerned about spring stats or results. "Spring training doesn't mean anything," he told me. The centerfielder mentioned different strike zones, being in different spots in the lineup, as well as feeling different every day and each at-bat.


Cruz packed and unpacked


Tony Cruz had been told by someone in the clubhouse that he was among Friday's cuts, so the catcher was seen packing his gear following the game. Apparently there was a late change as Cruz was told to turn around and return, having been given another week in major league camp.

Walters family news


P.J. Walters and his wife Britney learned this past week that they are expectant parents. Walters' brother Eric, a 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher, is scheduled to throw for the Cardinals this coming week as he is in search of a professional contract.


Staying five innings


Manager Tony La Russa said off hand that veterans have to remain five innings during spring games before being excused. I didn't know that rule.


Coach Spags in the house


Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is in camp. La Russa showed him the day's practice schedule, to which he commented, "Defense. I like that. Did you change it for me?" He did not want to ask the manager if he could be on the field/dugout during the game, saying "I know what I don't know."


Bill Parcells and Lou Brock (out of uniform) were there on Friday.


On Gast


La Russa said the lefty John Gast remains in camp because there are "still one or two what if's" that might involve Gast. "Doesn't get flustered" is one of his strengths says the manager, who is looking forward to seeing Gast against hitters with better timing.


McClellan not locked


La Russa refused to name Kyle McClellan his #5 starter, saying only that there are now fewer than seven competitors for the job as there were at the start of camp.


Berkman not in the field


The manager said Lance Berkman remains on a throwing program and he does not want to rush the veteran. Berkman probably won't play in the field until at least Wednesday, with the manager looking into rules regarding the use of the DH when one club wants to use it, but the other does not. NL use of the DH typically wanes as the season nears.


Freese to play two straight


David Freese was scratched from Saturday's lineup so he can play his first consecutive games on Sunday and Monday. The third baseman will be off Tuesday and play again on Wednesday.


Carp confirmed for Wednesday


La Russa confirmed ace Chris Carpenter will start on Wednesday at Lakeland vs. Detroit, joking that he doesn't want his friend Jim Leyland to go 2-0 against him this spring. The Tigers defeated the Cardinals in Jupiter on Friday.


Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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