Matheny's quick hitters – Wednesday, April 9

Summarizing St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's comments before his club's third home game of 2014.

On Jon Jay in right field and Allen Craig out: Want to get Jay going. For Craig, sometimes a couple of days and some extra swings can help. Craig is close. He feels it. Magnified at start of season. Timing, confidence, rhythm – a number of things go into it. Lessons learned will help for next time because it will happen again.

On Mark Ellis (who was taking ground balls Wednesday): No timetable for his return. Making really good progress defensively and with swing. A minor league rehab stint would not necessarily have to happen.

On Thursday: There will be no workout. It is a day with their families. They talk a lot about balance. Need to act accordingly. Families make a lot of sacrifices.

On late inning relief Wednesday: Was coy about Rosenthal's and Martinez' availability today after pitching the last two days.

On Albert Pujols' 500th home run: Can see how few have reached it. Fortunate to witness the bulk of it. Doesn't allow himself to enjoy much, but hopes he does with this. Saw something special early, but had no 500 home run projection in spring 2001. Enjoyed seeing him at each step getting better.

On Friday starter Joe Kelly going deeper into games: Making large strides. Had to decide philosophy between being strikeout guy and ground ball pitcher. Getting quick outs because trusting defense and his stuff.

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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