Miller on mound as Cards face Red Sox

Miller on mound as Cards face Red Sox

Credit: Getty Images

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 04: Shelby Miller #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during Game Two of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 4, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


by Brian Feldman, BaseballStL

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 8:19 AM

(BaseballStL). -- Assuming the weather cooperates - and that's a big assumption at this point with forecasts calling for heavy rain - the Cardinals and Red Sox will duke it out again just over four months after Boston disposed of the Redbirds in six games in the World Series.

The two clubs already have played once this spring, a Cards victory in Jupiter, but this one takes place at what many call "Little Fenway". JetBlue Park has a Fenway-like feel to it with a green monster in left field.

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Mike Matheny's lineup for what he hopes will be a full game in Fort Myers:

1) Kolten Wong - 2B
2) Jon Jay - LF
3) Daniel Descalso - 3B
4) Matt Adams - DH
5) Xavier Scruggs - 1B
6) Shane Robinson - RF
7) Peter Bourjos - CF
8) Tony Cruz - C
9) Pete Kozma - SS

Shelby Miller will start today's matchup at JetBlue Park and be followed by lefties Kevin Siegrist and Sam Freeman. Both those relievers were slated to pitch yesterday in Jupiter but ended up not getting in the game. Matheny said after it ended that Siegrist and Freeman would definitely appear against the Red Sox.

-- The emergence of Kolten Wong continues. After starting off this spring training 0-10 with four strikeouts, he has blown up. The hopeful starting second baseman has boosted his Grapefruit League average to .345 and a .424 on-base percentage. Wong is 10 for his last 19 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs. Mike Matheny has said he is trying to get Wong to not be too high when things are good but not too low when things are going poorly. With veteran Mark Ellis a little sore at this point in spring Wong figures to get all the at-bats at second base. The Cardinals, going into spring, wanted the Hawaii native to win the starting job and after a slow start figures to be doing exactly that. He's confident and playing with a flare that is infectious to teammates. Kolten Wong is an easy guy to root for.

-- Xavier Scruggs is an interesting name to follow. He's not going to make the team but has the look of someone who could be a powerful bat off the bench at some point either this season or next. Scruggs just plays first base but has shown a willingness to move around so he can make his case for being a bench player in the majors. He's hitting .286 in spring (6-21) but has also taken seven walks to boost his OBP to .483.

-- Reliever Pat Neshek left Cards camp a few days ago to tend to a family matter. He announced on twitter this morning the birth of his son, Hoyt Robert Neshek. The sidearm righty is expected back in camp soon to continue his quest to make the club.