Matheny expects big things from Kolten Wong this spring

Matheny expects big things from Kolten Wong this spring

Matheny expects big things from Kolten Wong this spring

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballSTL

KMOV.com

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Mike Matheny received an epidural shot today and hopes this helps put the issue of the ruptured disc in his back behind him.  He says the pain should go away soon and is walking better than he was yesterday. 

- Nothing new on the Rafael Furcal front with his injured elbow as the team evaluates how long he’s going to be out of action.  Right now the plan is simply to go with Pete Kozma and Ronny Cedeno.  Ryan Jackson has gotten a lot of at-bats but not a lot of repetitions at shortstop.  Matheny was very unclear if the Furcal situation will change that or not.  He’ll continue to be evaluated but seems to be well behind Kozma and Cedeno on the depth chart at that position.

- Regarding shortstop, Matheny says he needs someone there who will play defense first and whatever they get from an offensive standpoint is just a bonus.  He doesn’t want to put a “basement or ceiling” on what numbers they should have at the plate, but clearly they already have a strong offensive team already.  They really need someone to play good defense first and foremost.  Matheny said, though, the best baseball they played all year as a team was when Kozma was hitting so well at the end of the season. 

- According to the manager, who plays shortstop does not affect who plays second base.  It would be reasonable to assume that when Matt Carpenter is at second that Matheny would prefer to have a better defender (or the best possible defender) at short. 

- Matheny is looking for prospect Kolten Wong to take his game to another level this spring.  He believes there is another level that it can go to.  He sees great instincts, not just at the plate but also in the field.  Wong just needs more repetitions so he can adapt to the speed of the game at the big league level.

- Normally, at this point with minor league camp getting ready to start the Cards would be making some roster moves.  But Matheny says they’re thin already in big league camp so he doesn’t know how many moves they’ll be making.  It’s getting to the point where they’re paying attention to how much they are using the prospects so they don’t get overworked.  Especially with the likes of Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina gone for the World Baseball Classic.

- Mark Rzepczynski has a little bit of a tired arm and won’t pitch for a couple days.  Matheny says they’re not concerned about it.

With a day off tomorrow, Matheny says he really hopes no one shows up unless they absolutely need treatment.  He says it’s a long spring training and there is plenty of time to get at-bats in the cage or throw bullpens.  Tomorrow’s off day should be taken to spend time with family.

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