The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook 03/12

The Cardinals interim third baseman, Joe Mather, went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs to help lead the Cardinals past the Florida Marlins, 8-4, in Wednesday's Grapefruit League action. On top of learning a new position, Mather is hitting .300 and leads the Cardinals with 11 RBIs this spring.

Albert Pujols ended the day going 2-for-3 and driving in a run for St. Louis, while minor league infielders competing for a spot on the Cardinals 25-man roster, Jarrett Hoffpauir, Tyler Greene and Brian Barden also drove in a run apiece.

Starter Todd Wellemeyer survived a rough third inning, when he faced seven batters, finished the day giving up three runs on three hits and a walk in his five innings on the mound. Lefty Royce Ring gave up a run with two strikeouts in his one inning in relief. Mitchell Boggs, the Cardinals #6 starter on my depth chart, tossed two perfect frames in relief to pick up the win.

Defensively, converted outfielder Skip Schumaker committed his fourth error of the spring at second base on Wednesday when he booted a routine grounder right at him that allowed two unearned runs to score off of starter Todd Wellemeyer.

It is still too early write off the Schumaker experiment at second. He'll need all of spring training and most of the first month of the season to settle into the new position. Schumaker is slated to be the Cardinals designated hitter Thursday against Boston, but nothing should be read into this decision, that will give him brief respite from playing in the field.


Colby Rasmus, still hoping to break camp with the major league club, has been dealing with discomfort in his left hamstring that caused him to miss the last two games. Rasmus could be back in the lineup as early as Thursday, but the most likely scenario is he'll start in the second game of the double-header on Friday.


Chris Duncan was held out of Wednesday's game due to groin soreness. A day earlier, he was removed from St. Louis' game against Detroit when he first felt the condition while returning to first base after a single.

Minor league right-hander Matt Scherer, who has been sidelined since the early part of spring because of forearm tightness, threw a live batting practice Wednesday. Scherer was added to the Cardinals 40-man roster in the offseason, he's expected to start at Triple-A Memphis this year.


The Cardinals'.300 spring team batting average is among all N.L. clubs trailing only the A.L. Los Angeles Angels (.314), in all of baseball. The Cards .300 team batting average is the highest team batting average since the ballclub moved to Roger Dean Stadium in 1998. The Cardinals continue to lead the Majors with 90 runs scored this spring.


The Cardinals will host the Boston Red Sox Thursday at 12:05 p.m. (CDT). Chris Carpenter will take the mound for his third start of the spring with Blake Hawksworth scheduled to follow with other pitchers to be determined. Carpenter is scheduled to throw between 50-55 pitches. Boston will send Josh Beckett to the mound in Thursday's contest. The game will be carried by KTRS, the BIG 550 & MLB Game Day Audio.

The team plays a split-squad double-header Friday, with Kyle McClellan getting the first start against Baltimore at 12:05 PM (CDT) and Joel Pineiro scheduled to take the mound against the Orioles in the nightcap at 6:05 PM (CDT). There is no broadcast coverage currently scheduled for either one of the games on Friday.


Mark your calendar, the next TV broadcast will be on the MLB TV this Saturday, as the St. Louis Cardinals host the Atlanta Braves at 12:05 PM (CDT).


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