Matheny aims for wins, crisper play -

Matheny aims for wins, crisper play

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Through nine games in Grapefruit League play the Cardinals are not exactly sitting pretty in the standings.  They're 2-7 and have tied for the fewest wins among all Major League Baseball teams. 

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Manager Mike Matheny says a lot of the problems they've had so far can be explained pretty easily, but that doesn't mean he's okay with the way things have gone.

"We've had this conversation in the clubhouse about the habits and expectations individually.  But there's a habit of winning, too," Matheny said. "We need to be honest with our evaluations [though] where we've thrown a lot of young players out there.  That seems to be a lot of the struggles we've had."

The manager says struggles of young players, particularly pitchers who haven't even been higher than AA, is to be expected.  Last year was similar except they had guys like Michael Wacha who were able to get results in big situations. 

Now they still have innings to fill and at-bats to use with prospects so they don't overwork the veteran players.  The poor results have followed.  Those veterans, however, haven't disappointed.

"We look at the guys who are slated to be in with our [big league] club and we got a lot of guys doing things right," Matheny said.

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