The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook 03/31

The Cardinals losing streak ended at five games Monday, after starter Joel Pineiro threw six-plus shutout innings, to help lead St. Louis past the Florida Marlins, 2-1, in Grapefruit League action. After the game, the Cardinals reassigned closer candidate Chris Perez to Triple-A Memphis, clearing the way for Jason Motte to assume the bulk of work as the team's closer.

Pineiro finished his spring training in Florida posting a record of 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA, with 20 strikeouts and just four walks. He is scheduled for one more start before the regular season begins, an exhibition game against the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds on Saturday night in Memphis.

The Cardinals won Monday's contest after outfielder Colby Rasmus scored on a throwing error by Florida's Cameron Maybin in the bottom of the ninth. Offseason acquisition Khalil Greene continues to swing the hottest bat on the team as he went 2-for-4 on the day, raising his batting average to a team leading .418. Reliever Kyle McClellan picked up the win with a scoreless frame in the ninth, to improve to 3-0, despite a bloated 9.00 ERA.

The Cardinals improved to 17-11-2 this spring with the win Monday. The 17 wins represent a tie with the most wins by the franchise since moving to Jupiter Florida. Last spring the Cardinals posted a 17-10-2 record and drew 87,592 fans to RDS.

In other news Monday, the Cardinals reassigned Chris Perez to Triple-A Memphis, where he will be the Memphis Redbirds' closer, clearing the way for rookie Jason Motte to get the bulk of the work as the St. Louis closer. Motte has been very impressive with 15 K's, a 1.74 ERA, a .79 WHIP, and 4 saves over 10.1 innings.

The Cardinals pitching staff is now set with 12 pitchers still in the Major League camp. The Cardinals will take seven relievers north: righties Jason Motte, Ryan Franklin, Kyle McClellan, Josh Kinney and Brad Thompson and left-handers Dennys Reyes and Trever Miller.

Additionally, St. Louis re-assigned catcher Matt Pagnozzi to Minor League camp. The Cardinals have one more move to still make before the Opening Day roster is set, with one of the infielders, Joe Thurston, Brendan Ryan or Brian Barden being cut. The smart money is probably on Joe Thurston and Brendan Ryan making the team, but I'd give a slight edge to Brian Barden with Brendan Ryan being the odd man out.


The Cardinals are just under a week out from Opening Day as they open at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, April 6. All of the festivities surrounding the 3:15 start have not been announced, however a pep rally is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of Ballpark Village on Clark St. Kicking off the pregame activities inside Busch Stadium will be the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales.


Scored the winning run in Monday's 2-1 win over the Marlins to stop the team's five- game losing skid. The rookie outfielder who should be making his Major League debut next week went 1-for-3 Monday, raising his batting average to a respectable .284. Colby Rasmus leads the team with four stolen bases this spring.


The Cardinals take their last Grapefruit League trip of the year on Tuesday when they head south to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a game against the Baltimore Orioles. Adam Wainwright will take the mound for St. Louis in his final Grapefruit League start; he'll be facing Hayden Penn, with first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. CT.

The two remaining Florida spring games are games at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals will host the New York Mets on Wednesday and will be the "visiting" team on Thursday against Florida.


Broadcasts coming up; April 3 tilt, exhibition game at Memphis.


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