Lynn makes spring debut versus Marlins today

Lynn makes spring debut versus Marlins today

Lynn makes spring debut versus Marlins today

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on March 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Updated Saturday, Mar 1 at 10:33 PM

(BaseballStL) - After falling to Miami in the Grapefruit League opener yesterday 5-4, the Cardinals are back at it again this afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium. 

Lance Lynn, much more assured of a starting role with the recent injury to Jaime Garcia, takes the ball for the Redbirds.  He'll be on a 40-pitch limit similar to that of Carlos Martinez yesterday.

Here's the lineup Mike Matheny will field behind him:

 

1) Jon Jay - CF

2) Mark Ellis - 2B

3) Matt Holliday - DH

4) Jhonny Peralta - SS

5) Daniel Descalso - 3B

6) Joey Butler - LF

7) Xavier Scruggs - 1B

8) Randal Grichuk - RF

9) Audry Perez - C

 

Following Lynn on the mound will be a group consisting of Randy Choate, Sam Freeman, Lee Stoppleman and Seth Maness.

-- Literally every single spot in the lineup is different from yesterday.  All nine guys who played Friday has the day off while all nine guys who are starting this afternoon didn't play in game one.  This is Mike Matheny easing players into the lineup by saying no one needs to be going back-to-back at this point in spring.  There's 26 more games to play before they leave Florida and there's plenty of time to have the players build up stamina before the season starts.  No need to burn anyone out now.

-- Cards fans are going to get their very first look at Jhonny Peralta in a Redbirds uniform.  He's the single acquisition this offseason that is expected to change the complexion of the offense.  Gone are the days of assuming whenever the shortstop comes up he'll be an automatic out.  Peralta may not be the greatest defensive shortstop in the world these days but he's fully capable of driving in runs when the situation calls for it.

-- Randal Grichuk is a name to keep an eye on this spring.  He was the other addition in the David Freese-for-Peter Bourjos deal with the Angles.  Grichuk has raw power at the plate, with 40 home runs the last two seasons to back that claim up, but according to scouts has significant trouble with breaking pitches.  Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty are ahead of him on the outfield depth pecking order but Grichuk is more than capable of putting himself in the conversation for a promotion in the near future. 

-- Watch carefully to see how lefty Sam Freeman throws today, assuming he actually gets in.  With the uncertainty regarding Jaime Garcia and Jason Motte there's an opening in the bullpen to be had.  It remains to be seen if the Cards would go with a third lefty in something other than a long relief role but Freeman has knockout stuff.  His problem recently has been consistency with pounding the strike zone.  If he can show that this spring he'll easily put himself in contention for a roster spot.

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