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Cardinal lineup and notes: Mark Ellis, Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez

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Jenifer Langosch has today’s lineup, noting that the Cardinals are changing their routine; they will be taking batting practice at Roger Dean Stadium, then going up to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets. Not only that, but the full team, including the other 4 starting pitchers, will be making the 45 minute drive.

  • 3B Matt Carpenter
  • 2B Mark Ellis
  • 1B Allen Craig
  • SS Jhonny Peralta
  • RF Stephen Piscotty
  • CF Peter Bourjos
  • LF Shane Robinson
  • C Tony Cruz
  • SP Shelby Miller

Available pitchers: Randy Choate, Kevin Siegrist, keith Butler, Seth Maness, Carlos Martinez, Scott McGregor, Pat Neshek, Jorge Rondon, Trevor Rosenthal.

Available hitters: Dan Descalso, Jon Jay, Scott Moore, Kolten Wong, Steve Bean, Pete Kozma, Randal Grichuk, Xavier Scruggs, Ed Easley, Tommy Pham, Matt Williams.

Ellis is back in the lineup after a day off; he’s been battling a knee injury and missed 7 games prior to Saturday. He’s slated to play second on a part time basis, with Kolten Wong as the started; Ellis has good splits against lefties, so look for him to start against southpaws mainly.

It was a busy weekend for the Cardinals; between cuts and naming the 5th starter, the team kept its name in the news. Joe Kelly will be the 5th starter, coming off almost 6 innings of no hit ball on Sunday; Kelly was key in stopping a few losing streaks last August, so it’s little surprise that he won the role (although it’s a little disappointing). Carlos Martinez will stay with the team as Trevor Rosenthal’s set up man; Martinez showed the world he could handle the role last October, but his real value is in the rotation.

The team also announced they cut 4 players from camp; Joey Butler, Greg Garcia and Sam Freeman have been optioned to Memphis and Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Springfield. The Butler move isn’t surprising, as the team is stacked with more talented outfielders; Butler is in the system as depth and little else. In fact, it would be quite surprising if he makes it all season on the 40-man roster; he offers little in potential and doesn’t have a long-term role with the team.

Garcia was similar to Butler, as there wasn’t room for him at the MLB level; the difference is he has more potential. Garcia could be an MLB regular if he got a chance; he wouldn’t be a star or anything, but better than a replacement level player. Garcia will continue to play shortstop in Memphis while seeing time at third and second to be ready for any opportunity that could open up in the near future.

Freeman was more surprising; he’s had a good spring and his short time in the Majors last year was pretty good. The team said that they would like him to get consistent work over the next week; one thing he needs to work on is his control, which is evident in his 6 hits and 4 walks over 6.1 innings this spring. For a while, it looked as if the team would consider carrying 3 lefties in the bullpen, but now it’s down to Jorge Rondon, Keith Butler, and Scott McGregor.

Diaz being sent to Springfield is right there with the Butler demotion. He had 2 good games with the team over the weekend, but he’s just not ready. The team was sending him down to work on his defense at short while also getting the rust off from sitting out over a year. He appears to be a utility player at the MLB level according to scouting reports.

Along with the 4 cuts, the team outrighted Angel Castro off the 40-man roster to make room for Pat Neshek. Castro, already optioned to Memphis, has had a rough spring; the pitcher had given up 7 earned runs and 13 hits in 2.2 innings before his demotion. He’s also struggled in minor league camp too. He signed an MLB deal in the off-season; since he’d never been on a 40-man roster, Castro still had 3 options available. Unfortuntely for him, his effort this spring will most likely keep him from making his MLB debut.

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