The Cardinals figured on having Chris Carpenter on the mound for Opening Day. Instead, Lohse received the honors when Carpenter went down as it simply lined up with his turn. Fortunately, Lohse is looking more than ready to take the hill and perform well.
Loshe threw 85 pitches and felt like he could have come out for more. Had it been the regular season, no doubt he would have. He struck out seven Mets and walked one. He only allowed three hits on the day.
Matt Carpenter was the hitting star for the Redbirds with the aforementioned homer and a double. He has had a tremendous spring (.380 BA) and earned his position on the team.
MATHENY UNVEILS 25-MAN ROSTER
Courtesy of Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com we found out who will round out the 25-man roster. Tony Cruz will remain the backup catcher and Bryan Anderson will head to Triple-A Memphis. M. Carpenter, Erik Komatsu and Shane Robinson were the others who were unknown going into today who made the team. Chris Carpenter, Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig will start the season on the DL.
Jake Westbrook, who has had a fantastic spring, is set to make his final Grapefruit League start today in Viera, FL. against the Washington Nationals. In 18 innings of work so far this spring, Westbrook is carrying a 1.47 ERA with a 0.76 WHIP. He is holding batters to a .159 batting average.
We learned from Langosch that Matt Carpenter decided on his own this offseason to work on playing in the outfield and at first base in an effort to have a better chance of making the roster. Manager Mike Matheny has been touting versatility all spring and now Carpenter has proven he can play in more than one spot. He has also shown that his bat is major league ready.
- Skip Schumaker has begun to partake in workouts with the rest of the team.
- Eugenio Velez will work in multiple spots at Triple-A Memphis and receive plenty of at-bats.
- Victor Marte is not going to be the only closer in Memphis as Farm Director John Vuch mentioned that Maikel Cleto and Eduardo Sanchez will also get some save opportunities.
MY TWO CENTS
For what its worth, the 25-man roster looks pretty solid to me. Even with Chris Carpenter, Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig set to begin the season on the DL, the Cardinals are in pretty good shape. Their starting staff has been superb in the spring. Jaime Garcia has the highest ERA at 3.38, which anyone would take. Westbrook and Adam Wainwright‘s ERAs are under 2.00. The bullpen has been solid as well. The addition of Scott Linebrink brings a veteran presence to a young but effective pen.
At the plate a good majority of the team has been red hot for most of the spring. Matt Holliday, Matt Carpeneter, Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran each have averages over .350, with Holliday at .409. Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso have had solid springs. Descalso was on fire for the early part and has since slowed a bit. But he has established himself as a player who can play each of the infield positions. Greene has flashed the speed and a little power. If given the at-bats, Greene can approach 15 home runs and 25-30 steals.
Rafael Furcal and David Freese are the only regulars who have had a rough go this spring. Furcal looks lost at the plate. Freese has shown some of the power the Cardinals hope continues, bashing three homers, but he is only hitting .200 on the spring.
Allen Craig not being with the team at the outset of the regular season was something the team figured was going to be the case. The injuries to Schumaker and Chris Carpenter were the moments the team wished hadn’t happened, but their depth all over the roster should be able to overcome their loss in the short term. Hopefully each player will be able to return on the earlier side of the respective timetables.
New manager Mike Matheny has shown an agressive style in the running game and claims he will be tinkering with the lineup early on in the regular season until one clicks. He seems to have earned the respect of the players and is certainly capable of leading this team through the season and hopefully a post-season run.
Tags: Adam Wainwright Allen Craig Bryan Anderson Cardinals Chris Carpenter Daniel Descalso David Freese Eduardo Sanchez Erik Komatsu Eugenio Velez Fernando Salas Jaime Garcia Jason Motte Kyle Lohse Maikel Cleto Matt Carpenter Matt Holliday Mike Matheny Rafael Furcal Shane Robinson Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Tony Cruz Tyler Greene Victor Marte Yadier Molina