Wednesday's Cardinals pregame news and notes

Wednesday's Cardinals pregame news and notes

Credit: Getty Images

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Manager Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals talks to the media prior to the game against the New York Mets at Tradition Field on February 27, 2013 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL

Baseballstl

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 1:02 PM

(BaseballStL) -- Mike Matheny says they're going to give a little bit more work to Matt Adams (knee) and hope to get him in the field in the next couple days. Likewise with Allen Craig (shoulder). They're taking their time with the 1st baseman and he's progressing well.

-- Matheny says he doesn't remember a spring training where every guy (position player and pitcher) has hit the field like this. It's because they're so light in numbers. It's good in the sense that it gets the young guys out there and gives a chance to rest the big boys but it also doesn't allow for much flexibility in giving starts based on performance.

-- The lineup with the Cards is going to be bouncing around a lot with tons of guys getting days off this year. Matheny says you'll see a lot of characters out there. So it's hard to gauge exactly what the lineup will look like. He likes what he saw from Jon Jay as the leadoff hitter but won't go so far as to declare him the leadoff hitter. That's something Rafael Furcal - when healthy - has done very well of in the past. Remember, Furcal was an All Star last year. Carlos Beltran can hit anywhere from two through six but Matheny really likes the look of the order when he's hitting second.

-- Conventional wisdom, according to Matheny, is to get players with the highest on-base percentages up at the top of the order to set the table for the middle of the order hitters like Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Yadier Molina. But another train of thought, per the Cards manager, is to just get the best hitters up to the plate as often as you possibly can. That could factor into what the team does with its lineups day in and day out.

-- Regarding Kolten Wong and the former 1st round pick's ascent through the system, Matheny says he's "improved tremendously" as a defender to the point where he's very confident out there right now. Wong's always had confidence in his bat but they're looking for the "whole package". He's making strides.

-- Recently, Matheny alluded to the fact Carlos Beltran wouldn't be playing any center field for the team this year based on keeping him healthy and fresh. That means they'll need to keep a backup center fielder on the roster to spell Jon Jay every once in a while. Today, Matheny notes that Shane Robinson is one of the better defenders in the organization with great instincts and speed. Likewise, Justin Christian - who's also battling for that spot - can play really good defense as well. They're just looking for more consistency at the plate from him. Then there's Adron Chambers who Matheny says is still young in baseball experience. Chambers is sensing the game better and his swing is improving and still has upside. From the sound of it, Robinson figures to be in the lead for that final bench spot. But, like anything else, it can change.

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