The St. Louis Cardinals open their Grapefruit League season on Thursday afternoon against the Miami Marlins with Carlos Martinez taking the mound. Perhaps not by coincidence, he will be followed in the next two starts by a pair of pitchers who also hope to claim the fifth spot in the rotation.
“It will be Carlos, then it will be Marco, and then Jaime’s going to throw the third game,” shared Matheny, who also announced that Tim Cooney will now follow Martinez on Thursday. Tyler Lyons will move from the first game to the second for his appearance.
“There was no issue, we just wanted to give him that extra day of rest,” explained Matheny of the rotation change.
Jon Jay, who has yet to see live pitching, will not be in the lineup for Thursday’s game.
27 OUTS = DAY OFF
–The Cardinals will close out their Tuesday workouts with a “27 Outs” drill, which provided goes well will lead to them having Wednesday off.
Similar to an intra-squad game, players and situations will be changed at a quick pace to maximize repetitions and situations.
“We can re-load real fast, get the guys back out and throw them into a different situation we shout out,” said Matheny. “Just kind of putting together all the different team fundamentals we’ve been working on and just making sure we have everything covered before we head into the games. On the back end of that, gave them kind of a goal–get it done in a certain amount of time, show a lot of life, make the most of today then we’re going to take a day tomorrow if that all works out well.”
Besides how the Cardinals have gone about their workouts, the day off is also a reward for almost all of the team arriving days–if not a couple of weeks before the required report date.
“We made a big deal about these guys showing up early,” said Matheny. “It’s almost like we had extra days of work before we ever even officially started. It was something we needed to capitalize on and then get ready to play the games.”