JUPITER, Fla.—Former closer Jason Motte is working extremely hard to get back in a Cardinals uniform to contribute any which way he possibly can in 2014.
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Just don’t expect the team to give you a guess on when that will be.
“I’m still cautious to put a time frame (on Motte’s return),” Mike Matheny said. “I think we’ll know each time he throws and how he responds. I don’t think anybody’s in a position right now to say ‘this is the date we’re shooting for’. He keeps ramping up the intensity so we keep getting closer.”
Motte had Tommy John surgery last year and missed the entire 2013 season. He won’t be the closer this season, Trevor Rosenthal has that job, and he won’t even be the 8th inning guy to start the year, Carlos Martinez has that role.
But the former NL saves leader’s rehab and eventual progress will go a long way in determining decisions the Cardinals make this year. If a starter goes down, Martinez may be the first guy moved into the rotation since he spent all offseason and spring training preparing to start.
That move, however, could be dependent on how ready Motte and/or Kevin Siegrist is to replace Martinez in the 8th.