The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook 04/03

The Cardinals top prospect, Colby Rasmus, hit his first home run of the spring as he went 2-for-4, while driving in three runs Thursday, as St. Louis wrapped up their 2009 Grapefruit League season with a record breaking 19th victory, with a 6-3 win over the Florida Marlins. In other news; Mather out at third, Rasmus, Freese, Ryan, Barden survive final roster cut and ...


Rasmus drove in three runs and scored twice, as the Cardinals scored four times in the ninth to win their 19th game this spring. Rasmus is expected to be the Cardinals' fourth outfielder when the season starts on Monday. Third baseman David Freese who made the Cardinals 25-man roster beating out Joe Mather who was optioned to Triple-A Memphis after the game, had three hits on the day to help lead the offense.

Starter Todd Wellemeyer gave up three runs on six hits in five innings as relievers Josh Kinney and Ryan Franklin worked scoreless frames. Trever Miller picked up the win with a scoreless frame in the eighth and Jason Motte, the Cardinals closer basically, picked up his fifth save, retiring the side in order in the ninth, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

The Cardinals will be in Memphis over the weekend, where they will take on their Triple-A affiliate, the Redbirds, in a pair of exhibitions to prepare for the regular season.


--- OF Colby Rasmus hit his first home run in Thursday's spring training game and after hitting .280 this spring with seven doubles and two triples, the Cardinals announced that Rasmus will make the major club and his long awaited major league debut is just around the corner.

--- OF Joe Mather was the final roster cut made by St. Louis as he was optioned to Triple-A Memphis Thursday, following the Cardinals 6-3 win over the Florida Marlins. Considered an early frontrunner to play at third in place of the injured Troy Glaus, Mather hit just .227 this spring and ended up losing the job to third baseman David Freese.

---3B David Freese will start the season as the Cardinals third baseman. Freese acquired in the trade that sent center fielder Jim Edmonds to San Diego, played most of last season at Triple-A Memphis after making the jump from Class-A. Freese hit .306 with 26 home runs and 91 RBI last season.

--- INF Brian Barden will make the Cardinals roster because Joe Mather was sent down. Barden will be used as reserve infielder and pinch hitter and will likely split playing time between Memphis and St. Louis this season.

--- 3B Troy Glaus met with doctors and team officials Wednesday is now expected to miss at least two months following a setback in his rehabilitation from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in January. As we have consistently reported here from day one, we expected Glaus to be out until mid-May or early June. With this breaking news, I wouldn't get my hopes up at seeing Glaus at third until around the All-Star break if even then.

--- SP Chris Carpenter won't start Friday's exhibition game at Class AAA Memphis because of a mild left calf strain. P.J. Walters, who has been optioned to Memphis, will take Carpenter's turn for the Cardinals. Trainer Barry Weinberg called Carpenter's strain "very mild." My take on this is, an exhibition start for Carpenter at this time wasn't necessary as spring training was about a week too long anyway. The regulars are ready for the season to begin. Carpenter is expected to make his first regular start of the Major League season, next Thursday against Pittsburgh.

--- RHP Right-handed pitcher Josh Wilson is getting a second chance to pitch with the St. Louis Cardinals according to Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch. During August of 2008, Wilson was put on the team's restricted list after he had informed the club that he planned to retire.

The Cardinals' second round pick in the 2005 MLB First Year Player Draft (70th overall) has been hampered with injuries during his professional career. In parts of four seasons, the Texan registered a 4-10 record with a 4.81 ERA in 142.2 innings with 90 strikeouts and 49 walks.

The 22-year-old reportedly will report next week and participate in the team's extended spring training.

--- The Cardinals open the 2009 season 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.


Rasmus had his best day at the plate Thursday, going 2-for-4, including hitting his first home run of the spring while driving in three runs to lead the Cardinals past the Marlins 6-3. Rasmus survived the final roster cut and will soon be making his Major League debut in St. Louis, with the Cardinals basically just carrying four outfielders, with Rasmus starting the season at #4 on the depth charts.


St. Louis finished spring training with 19 wins, the most ever since St. Louis began calling Roger Dean Stadium home (1998) and the most since 1997 (21).


Starter Chris Carpenter has been scratched from his scheduled start at Triple-A Memphis tonight. Starting for the Major League club instead will be P. J. Walters, who was slated to oppose Carpenter for Memphis. I have Walters as the Cardinals #6 starter on my depth chart. A Memphis starter has not been announced yet. Saturday's afternoon starters remain Joel Piñeiro vs. Mitchell Boggs.


Broadcasts coming up; tonight's exhibition game at Memphis, game time 7:05. P.M. CDT.


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