The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook

The St. Louis Cardinals scored four runs in the top of the first, but couldn't hold on to the early lead, falling to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, 7-6 in Grapefruit League Play. In the news; shortstop Khalil Greene is providing the offensive upgrade he was acquired for, while Yadier Molina is missing valuable spring training time to be the third string catcher for the WBC Puerto Rican team.

Cardinals' starter Todd Wellemeyer made his fourth start of the spring and pitched the first five innings for the second straight game and was tagged for four runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Mitchell Boggs pitched a scoreless sixth before the Tigers scored two runs on him in the seventh. Closer candidate Jason Motte pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out the side before minor league closer Fernando Salas was tagged with the loss, after he gave up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

Offensively, Albert Pujols hit his first home run this spring and singled in three at-bats for the Cardinals with two runs scored and two RBIs. Khalil Greene went 3-for-3 with a double and three runs batted in, while Skip Schumaker and Rick Ankiel each had a pair of hits in the Cardinals second straight loss.

COLBY RASMUS WATCH: In the lineup Monday, batting in the nine hole and playing center field, Rasmus went 1-for-4 on the day with a double and a run scored.

NOTES AND QUOTES: Chris Carpenter is lined up to pitch the fourth game of the season for the Cardinals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The rotation as it stands will be Adam Wainwright, Kyle Lohse, Todd Wellemeyer, Chris Carpenter, and Joel Pineiro.

Catcher Yadier Molina is participating in the World Baseball Classic as the Puerto Rican squad's third string catcher, behind Pudge Rodriguez and Geovany Soto, in lieu of being in spring training with his team. To date, Molina has a grand total of four at-bats and is not getting near the playing time he would if he was in spring training. Third string catcher, four at-bats, it is beyond my comprehension how a player and a team can justify missing spring training for the WBC, especially under these circumstances.

ROSTER MOVES: The Cardinals optioned four players from the 40-man roster to Triple-A Memphis Monday, including; outfielder Brian Barton and pitchers, Mitchell Boggs, Charlie Manning and Matthew Scherer. Non-roster invitees Jess Todd, Adam Ottavino, Clayton Mortensen and Allan Craig were assigned to Minor League camp as well. It brings the total number of players still in big league camp to 37.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The Cardinals were looking for an offensive upgrade at short and Khalil Greene has delivered. Greene is hitting He leads the team in the following offensive categories; Hits (17), Doubles (5), Total Bases (25) & and tied for the team lead with Chris Duncan with 12 RBIs.

COMING UP : Tuesday is a scheduled off day, with the Cardinals resuming play on Wednesday with spilt squad games against Baltimore. The Cardinals swept the first doubleheader split squad contest with Baltimore last week, in the midst of a six-game winning streak.

ON THE HILL WEDNESDAY : For the split squad action vs. Baltimore, Chris Carpenter will make the start at home followed by Blake Hawksworth. Kyle McClellan will make his 2nd start in Ft. Lauderdale with Brad Thompson to follow. First pitch for both games is 1:05 p.m. ET.


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