JUPITER, Fla. – Matt Carpenter will make his first start of the spring at second base Sunday afternoon when the Cardinals host the Boston Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium.
A corner infielder and outfielder in previous years, Carpenter spent the winter learning to play second base and arrived in Jupiter two weeks early for daily instruction with infield coach Jose Oquendo.
Carpenter entered Saturday’s spring opener at second base in the fourth inning and fielded a ground ball but didn’t have to turn any double plays. Sunday he’ll get his first start at the position.
Rafael Furcal will be in the lineup for the first time this spring but he’ll serve as the designated hitter and hit right-handed. Furcal, dealing with a bone spur in his elbow, received an anti-inflammatory shot on Friday and has been limited in throwing drills.
Carlos Beltran, Ty Wigginton and Dan Descalso will all be in the lineup for a second consecutive game. Wigginton served as the DH Saturday but will play first base on Sunday. Descalso moves from second base to third base.
Prospect Oscar Taveras will start in left field in place of Matt Holliday, who plans to alternate playing a game and resting for a day to ease back into game action.
Shelby Miller had been scheduled to start Sunday’s game on the mound but was scratched earlier this week due to shoulder soreness. He’s returned to throwing but won’t start Sunday. Instead it will be young left-hander John Gast, who could open the season in the Triple-A Memphis rotation.
Lefty John Lester starts on the mound for Boston.