The Redbird Report 02/02

The Cardinals were starting-pitching shy last year, but such free agents as Bartolo Colon, Kyle Lohse, Josh Fogg and Livan Hernandez were drawing only modest attention from the club as general manager John Mozeliak preferred to find another starter from within.

Mozeliak said the rotation, for the moment, consisted of holdovers Adam Wainwright, Braden Looper and Joel Pineiro plus newcomer Matt Clement, with a fifth starter needed only twice in April before the possible return of Mark Mulder in May.

While the club waits for Mulder to fully recover from another shoulder surgery, right-handers Anthony Reyes, Brad Thompson and Todd Wellemeyer are the candidates for the fifth spot.

Wellemeyer is an interesting study. Exclusively a reliever in his big-league career, Wellemeyer, because of injury, was pressed into service for 11 starts last season after the Cardinals picked him up from Kansas City on waivers.

The Cardinals were 9-2 in those games, with Wellemeyer compiling a 3-1 mark and a 3.65 ERA.

Wellemeyer, 29, also fanned 15 hitters in 14 1/3 innings of relief for the Cardinals.


--RHPs Cliff Politte, who originally was a Cardinal, Dewon Brazelton and John Wasdin are on the Cardinals' list of non-roster camp invitees. Prized center field prospect Colby Rasmus, 21, will be in his second big-league camp as a non-roster player, as will be highly regarded C Bryan Anderson.

--Cuban outfield prospect Amaury Cazana Marti will be in his first big-league camp. The slugger, who is somewhere north of 30 years old, had six homers in 107 at-bats at Class AA Springfield last season.

--RHP Todd Wellemeyer was the last arbitration-eligible candidate to come to terms, agreeing to a one-year deal estimated at $1 million.

--All of manager Tony La Russa's coaches -- Dave Duncan, Jose Oquendo, Dave McKay, Marty Mason, Joe Pettini and Hal McRae -- will be back for another season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I would like to see Anthony Reyes get every opportunity to be a starter." -- GM John Mozeliak, on the struggling right-hander who went 2-13 in 2007.

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