The Cards are set to take on the Red Sox at Roger Dean stadium in game two of their Grapefruit League schedule. Here's some news and notes from Mike Matheny's pregame chat with the media:
-- He doesn't know exactly what the lineup will be for Tuesday's first road game when the Cards are in Fort Myers. But Matheny says they will have a "good representation" against the Red Sox. It's kind of hard at this point to start skipping guys based on how early it is in spring and the need for many to get work.
-- Rafael Furcal, who is leading off as the designated hitter, is only hitting right-handed at the moment because of complications with his right elbow. Since the Red Sox are throwing lefty Jon Lester today it's a perfect opportunity to have Furcal in there and getting some at-bats. It's too early to say when Furcal will ease into being available to play defense, let alone hit left-handed. Matheny says they're just going to have to watch him and see how he responds.
-- Matheny also goes on to say, regarding Furcal, how much they'll spot him with days off once the season begins. Assuming he's healthy enough to even play starting in Arizona, they'll have to have some sort of plan in place. But Matheny pointed out that last year Furcal started off the season "perfect" so you don't know what's going to happen. Just need to wait and watch.
-- Don't plan on seeing Carlos Beltran in center field that much this season, let alone in spring training. Matheny says at this point in his career it doesn't make all that much sense to do that. Hence, the Redbirds will be forced to keep a backup center fielder on the bench. Likely, Shane Robinson or Adron Chambers will fill that role behind Jon Jay on the depth chart.
-- Oscar Taveras will see most of his time in spring on the corners (mostly right field) but might get a little exposure in center where he's played exclusively in the minor leagues. Matheny says playing center more will help Taveras on the corners but also be something he'll have "in his back pocket" once he comes up to the majors - whenever that turns out to be. My take: Taveras' ability to play center might save the Cards a bench spot one day because they wouldn't have to keep someone such as Chambers/Robinson solely to back up Jon Jay.
-- Lance Lynn is throwing a side session today and will make his first spring start of 2013 on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie against the Mets. That means starting tomorrow the rotation sets up with Adam Wainwright on Monday, Jaime Garcia on Tuesday and Lynn on Wednesday. Nothing further has been announced by Matheny just yet.
-- Shelby Miller is set to throw a live BP session tomorrow against hitters. He threw a side on Friday so the next progression will be for him to see hitters. From there, you could see Miller get into a Grapefruit League game soon after. All depending on how he feels.