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Cardinal News and Notes: Carlos Martinez, Yadier Molina, Miami Marlins

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The Cardinals start their exhibition games today; they face the Miami Marlins in the opener (a regular opponent during the spring as they share the same facility in Jupiter). Scheduled to start the game is Carlos Martinez for the Redbirds and Jose Fernandez for the Marlins.

Martinez, coming off an embarassing week where his Twitter account was hacked and pornographic links were favorited, has looked good this spring. "He's nasty," said new teammate Jhonny Peralta. "He's really good. His fastball has really good, heavy sink. It's hard to him him."

The pitcher is attempting to crack the rotation; he's facing Joe Kelly and Tyler Lyons as his main competition, now that Jaime Garcia has been shut down with shoulder soreness. If he doesn't make the rotation, there is a good shot that he sticks with the team as a reliever.

Lyons is also expected to pitch today.

As far as the line up goes, Mike Matheny has said he's going to use as many regulars as possible, but try to alternate them every other day this early in the spring. That includes Yadier Molina; the catcher will be in the designated hitter role today. This might be a commons sight this spring; the team should try to limit the amount of time Molina is catching since he's a key member of the team. Molina normally has one of the highest innings totals of catchers each year, and that might prove problematic as he gets older.

The Lineup (courtesty of Dan McLaughlin):

3B Carpenter

2B Wong

RF Craig

1B Adams

DH Molina

CF Bourjos

LF Robinson

C Cruz

SS Kozma

SP Martinez

Fernandez of the Marlins will be tough competition, even early in spring. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year will be on a pitch limit (like all pitchers at this point of spring) and working on the feel of his pitches; still, he's a very good pitcher and could go through 2 innings of Cardinal hitters quickly.

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