Cardinals Major League Notebook: 04/05/10

Tony La Russa has set his lineup and has a healthy roster to start the St. Louis Cardinals season. Brendan Ryan is batting second, ahead of Albert Pujols.



   Although because of injuries he didn't really have his starting lineup available for much more than a moment or two in spring training, manager Tony La Russa seemed to have settled on a configuration that would have right-handed hitting shortstop Brendan Ryan batting second ahead of Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus hitting down in the order at either fifth or sixth.


   La Russa was concerned about stacking his only two left-handed batters in the lineup, Skip Schumaker and Rasmus, at the No. 1-2 spots in the order in case the opposition went to left-handed relief later in the game. But the concerns he had were whether Ryan had had enough at-bats after Feb. 9 wrist surgery and whether he would be healthy enough.


   Ryan hit second in both of the final two exhibition games and seemed set there for at least a while at the beginning of the regular season.


   "I'm looking at the card and I'm hitting in front of Albert Pujols. That's awesome," said Ryan.


   "I want to hit in the first inning. I love being on the road and trying to get something started. Silence the crowd. Even if it's with a bunt." 


   Ryan spent considerable time this winter with new Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire in California and has a modified swing now. "My swing is shorter," Ryan said, "but I don't want to lose all those hits to right field. I hope (hitting second) is because I've been putting decent at-bats together."


   La Russa has experimented with Rasmus, who had a club-high five homers this spring, hitting fifth between right-handed hitting Matt Holliday and Ryan Ludwick. But Ludwick also had a hot spring and batted fifth in the last two months of last season after Holliday had been acquired from Oakland.




  --Fred Kuhlmann, who was president of the Cardinals from 1984-91, died at age 93 on Saturday in suburban Webster Groves, Mo. He presided over National League championship clubs in 1985 and 1987.


   --The daughter of RHP P.J. Walters died some two months after she was born 14 weeks premature. Annabelle Faith Walters was born on Feb. 10 and died on April 3. Walters, who was with the Cardinals briefly last season, missed most of spring training and then was optioned to Class AAA Memphis.


   --LHP Jaime Garcia, who will start on April 11 in Milwaukee, got the last spring training start in Minnesota's Target Field and allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings although he walked none. "I feel like I'm learning," said Garcia.


   --RHP Blake Hawksworth, who had been out a week with a sore groin, pitched one inning in the Cardinals' final exhibition game and was pleased he had to make a fielding play although he committed an error.


   --The Cardinals wound up exhibition play with a 15-14 mark. They were 14-13 in Florida, featuring a 1-5 start, then four straight wins followed by five straight losses followed by nine wins in 10 games.


   BY THE NUMBERS: 30 -- RHP Jason Motte's new number after he had worn No. 60 in his first two seasons.


   QUOTE TO NOTE: "I hope my hitters didn't watch that exhibition." -- Hitting coach Mark McGwire after he had taken batting practice, a poor one, he thought, on the final day of spring training in Florida.






   --RHP Blake Hawksworth (sore groin) pitched one inning in the Cardinals' final exhibition game after missing a week.


   --C Yadier Molina (strained right oblique) was injured with 10 days left in spring training but was ready to start the season.




   1. RHP Chris Carpenter

   2. RHP Adam Wainwright

   3. RHP Brad Penny

   4. RHP Kyle Lohse

   5. LHP Jaime Garcia




   RHP Ryan Franklin (closer)

   RHP Jason Motte

   RHP Kyle McClellan

   RHP Blake Hawksworth

   RHP Mitchell Boggs

   LHP Trever Miller

   LHP Dennys Reyes




   1. 2B Skip Schumaker

   2. SS Brendan Ryan

   3. 1B Albert Pujols

   4. LF Matt Holliday

   5. CF Colby Rasmus

   6. RF Ryan Ludwick

   7. C Yadier Molina

   8. 3B David Freese




   C Jason LaRue

   INF Felipe Lopez

   INF-OF Joe Mather

   OF Allen Craig

   OF Nick Stavinoha


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