The Cardinals are facing the Astros, with Michael Wacha being stretched out to 60 pitches. Here’s the lineup courtesy of Jenifer Langosch:
- 3B Matt Carpenter
- CF Jon Jay
- LF Matt Holliday
- DH Matt Adams
- C Yadier Molina
- 2B Kolten Wong
- 1B Xavier Scruggs
- RF Randal Grichuk
- SS Pete Kozma
- SP Michael Wacha
No word on the other pitchers yet. The game is being televised on the MLB Network at noon CST.
Oscar Taveras was one of 3 players optioned to Memphis on Thursday, according to Langosch; the move had to of surprised no one, as he’s barely played this spring. There was hope that Taveras would be on the bench for the Cardinals; the best thing for him was to go back to Triple A and get every day at bats since he missed half of last season. He’s still young and has plenty of time; factor in Allen Craig’s health history and it’s easy to see that he could be promoted as soon as July. Along with Taveras, Eric Fornataro and Audry Perez were sent to Triple A.
Langosch has been pretty busy writing on the Cardinals; she also has an article about reliever Pat Neshek’s fastball. Neshek’s been almost exclusively throwing his slider, which is great against right handed pitchers; last season, hitters were ready for it and hitting him pretty hard. The slider also isn’t as effective against lefties. His fastball is back up to 92 mph, which is the highest it’s been since his early Twin days. Mike Matheny said "The ball is jumping out of his hand. You can tell it's an uncomfortable at-bat. The lefties look just as uncomfortable as the righties do. I know those numbers have always been skewed the other way. He's got plenty of life on the ball, no question." Neshek is a good guy and deserves to be with in St. Louis.
Cardinal70 of the Cardinal Conclave looks at some of the surprises of camp. He mentions Xavier Scruggs taking a possible bench spot, which, while surprising, would be the most pop of any bench option. He’s been a mainstay at Springfield for years, so making the MLB roster would be one of the feel good stories of the spring.
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