Thursday Cardinals pregame news and notes

Thursday Cardinals pregame news and notes

Credit: Getty Images

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Rafael Furcal #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 19, 2013 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman, BaseballStL

Baseballstl

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 7:00 AM

(BaseballStL) --  Rafael Furcal will hit from both sides of the plate in today's "B" game with the Marlins. Initially, he'd only been cleared to hit from the right side because his right elbow was still giving him trouble. But now he's been cleared to hit from the left side as well. Mike Matheny says they're not in a hurry to rush Furcal back. They're going to keep taking their time with this.

-- The starting pitcher for the Marlins today is St. Louis native Jacob Turner, who pitched at Westminster Christian Academy. Matheny has known Turner for quite some time and says he's a great kid who goes about things the right way. The Cards manager actually coached him a little bit when he was in high school and says it's a great reward for him to see someone go on to do big things. Matheny talks with Turner about non baseball things, too, and takes pride in that.

-- Once Carlos Beltran leaves for the World Baseball Classic, there's going to be a major opportunity for top prospect Oscar Taveras to play...and play a lot. Matheny says they don't have a lot of outfielders in camp and that means the ones that are there will get a ton of at-bats. That list includes Taveras. Matheny understands the excitement surrounding him because of his talent but they have to do what's best for him. He needs to play, that's the bottom line. He needs to get baseball experience so he can continue to grow the other areas of his game aside from hitting. But Matheny does admit that Taveras is "getting it". He's now doing the little things that he wasn't necessarily doing before. He's mature. And, most importantly, Taveras is applying what people are telling him to the field. It's even getting to the point where he's helping others in drills. Matheny says that's a sign of him growing up.

-- Matheny says he's incredibly excited to see that reliever Mitchell Boggs has gotten invited to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He doesn't believe Boggs has gotten acknowledged enough for what he's done here at the big league level and hopes that going to the WBC will help remedy that.

-- Matheny reiterated his comparison of Michael Wacha to what Trevor Rosenthal did a season ago in coming into spring training and really impressing them with his work. Matheny says a lot of it comes out in the drills that these pitchers do, not just throwing off the mound.

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