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Cardinal lineup and notes: Oscar Taveras, Matt Carpenter, Rick Ankiel

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The Cardinals have split squad games today, so there are 2 lineups. Joining the team in Port St. Lucie against the Mets is Oscar Taveras. Taveras has been battling injuries for a quite a while now; it’s been said that he’s been having mental issues coming back from the injury. The Cardinals’ top prospect ran at full speed recently and felt much better after doing so. It’ll be interesting to see how he does today.

Today’s line up at the Mets:

  • CF Jon Jay
  • 2B Kolten Wong
  • DH Matt Holliday
  • SS Jhonny Peralta
  • 3B Dan Descalso
  • 1B Scott Moore
  • LF Randal Grichuk
  • RF Oscar Taveras
  • C Tony Cruz
  • SP Carlos Martinez

Scheduled Pitchers: Tim Cooney, Tyler Lyons, Seth Maness, Jorge Rondon, Alex Reyes, Sam Taivulala.

For the other game, the team will play the Marlins at home; this will be on Fox Sports Midwest at 12:05 pm CST. Adam Wainwright is making the start after yesterday’s game was rained out; he’ll be followed by scheduled starter Lance Lynn. Here is the full lineup:

  • 3B Matt Carpenter
  • 2B Mark Ellis
  • RF Allen Craig
  • 1B Matt Adams
  • C Yadier Molina
  • CF Shane Robinson
  • DH Joey Butler
  • LF James Ramsey
  • SS Pete Kozma
  • SP Adam Wainwright

Scheduled pitchers: Lance Lynn, Kevin Siegrist, Lee Stoppelman, Keith Butler, Eric Fornataro, Dixon Llorens.

The Cardinals and 3B Matt Carpenter are working towards an extension according to Derrick Goold. While it’s not completed, the word is they are nearing a 6 year deal ranging between $50-55M. It’s a smart gamble by the team; they are locking up a young player who was an MVP candidate in 2013. He’s back at his natural position, so you would think that he’ll be even more relaxed at the plate. On the flip side, he’s only had 1 full season and it’s possible that it was a fluke; I find it highly unlikely that he’s not a good player, but I don’t know if we’ll see a repeat of what he did in the near future. The official announcement is expect this weekend.

MLB Trade Rumors look at out of option players in the NL Central. The Cardinals don’t have any, but that doesn’t mean they’re clear of roster questions. With Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay fighting for centerfield, that leaves one outfield bench spot for Shane Robinson, Randal Grichuk, and Oscar Taveras. Another battle is for the infield; with Kolten Wong and Mark Ellis both in line for roster spots, that leaves 1 spot for a utility player. While I feel that Pete Kozma should have the role, I think he’ll be moved to Memphis for Dan Descalso; Kozma has options remaining and the team always seems high on Descalso. Both have weak bats, but Kozma is the better defensive option.

Rick Ankiel has officially retired. Ankiel's issues have been well documented; the loss of his command on the mound is one of the biggest travesties and mysteries in baseball. His rookie season was completely amazing. I was glad to see him make it back as a hitter with the Cardinals and wish him the best on his future endevors. It's said he's looking for a front office job, so it's a possibility he could be back with the Cardinals; they have brought back former players in the past.

As I get ready to release my top 50 Cardinal prospects, I'll be linking up to some other lists. Here is Dynasty Sports Empire. Pretty standard as far as a Top 10 list goes, just same names flipped around.

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