Mar 5, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) and Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (13) greet for the lineup exchange before their game at Roger Dean Stadium. The Marlins defeated the Cardinals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Cardinals’ bats silent in Matheny’s debut


The St. Louis Cardinals opened their spring training schedule yesterday with a loss to the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cards were held scoreless until the bottom of the ninth inning when they pushed three across in a 4-3 defeat in Mike Matheny‘s debut as manager.

 

The good news is that Kyle Lohse was generally effective in his first start of the spring. He threw 20 of his 26 pitches for strikes. The only hit he let up was a home run to Greg Dobbs. Dobbs was a hitting machine for the Marlins going 3 for 3 adding two doubles, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Marlins starter Josh Johnson, making his first start since last May, threw 41 pitches allowing two hits and walk with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.

The Marlins pitchers kept the Redbirds off the board until the ninth inning. Bryan Anderson, who is trying to make the team as the back-up catcher stroked a double to center to start off the inning. Mark Hamilton walked and after a short fly to center field by Eugenio Velez, Matt Carpenter smacked a double scoring both runners making it 4-2 Marlins. Kolten Wong came in as a pinch-hitter and walked. The final pitch of the at-bat was a wild pitch moving Carpenter to third. Steven Hill hit a line drive to center for a single scoring Carpenter. Shane Robinson went down on strikes and Adron Chambers grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.

Carlos Beltran started the game as the designated hitter and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and left 4 runners on base. The rest of the Cardinals’ regulars in the lineup did not get a hit either. Tyler Greene started the game at second base and went 1 for 3 with a double in his first at-bat. His competitors for the second base job, Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalso, were also in the lineup but failed to get a hit.

Greene played well in the field, taking a small step ahead of his competitors. If there is something that is going to hold Greene back it would be his inexperience at the position. Though he has had trouble translating his abilities at the plate during his stints in the majors, Greene has more upside than Schumaker or Descalso in my opinion. A big spring at the plate and the appearance that he will not be a detriment in the field could land Greene the job.

Mar 5, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman

 

Here is the boxscore, courtesy of MLB.com.

TODAY’S GAME

The Cardinals travel to Port St. Lucie to meet the New York Mets this afternoon for a 12:10 CST start. Jake Westbrook is on the bump for the Cards, facing Mets’ ace Johan Santana. Beltran will not be in the lineup to face his former team. Schumaker will get the start at second base today. Matt Holliday will be the team’s DH and David Freese makes his first start of the spring at third. There are a few relievers scheduled to take the mound today who have a chance of being a part of the major league bullpen including, Kyle McClellan, Fernando Salas, and Scott Linebrink. Below is the lineup courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Derrick Goold.

  1. Shane Robinson, CF
  2. Skip Schumaker, 2B
  3. Matt Holliday, DH
  4. David Freese, 3B
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Mark Hamilton, 1B
  7. Matt Carpenter, RF
  8. Ryan Jackson, SS
  9. Adron Chambers, LF

 

Westbrook is looking to regain the form he had in Cleveland and the earlier part of his tenure with the Cardinals. He came into camp twenty pounds lighter than he was at the end of last season. He is hoping the lighter frame will aid his pitching mechanics. Westbrook has a mutual club option for the 2013 season worth $8.5 million. If the Cardinals decline to pick up there end of the option Westbrook receives $1 million as a buyout. Westbrook would need to have an better than average season for the Cardinals to consider picking up the option with Yadier Molina‘s new contract set to begin next season taking a good chunk out of the anticipated payroll. Also, the Cardinals are hoping that their top prospect Shelby Miller will be ready for the big leagues in time for the 2013 season.

OTHER NOTES
  • Jordan Swagerty was sent to minor-league camp. He had been bothered by triceps soreness earlier in camp, but was not competing for a major league spot.
  • Matheny has continued to say and following through on his agenda to move players around the field to test their versatility. Matt Carpenter and Mark Hamilton will be among the younger players getting a look in unfamiliar positions.
  • Minor league catcher Robert Stock will be converted to a pitcher and has been sent to minor league camp to begin work right away. Stock was a pitcher in college for the University of Southern California.

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Tags: Adron Chambers Bryan Anderson Cardinals Carlos Beltran Daniel Descalso David Freese Fernando Salas Greg Dobbs Jake Westbrook Johan Santana Jordan Swagerty Josh Johnson Kolten Wong Kyle Lohse Kyle McClellan Mark Hamilton Matt Carpenter Matt Holliday Mike Matheny Robert Stock Ryan Jackson Scott Linebrink Shane Robinson Shelby Miller Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Steven Hill Tyler Greene Yadier Molina