JUPITER, Fla. -- The schedule for the Cardinals starting rotation over the next couple weeks remains a mystery due to the fact there's six names and an off day to mess things up.
One aspect that's not a mystery though? Adam Wainwright. Mike Matheny has said he'll start every fifth day, remaining on schedule, leading up to Opening Day against the Reds on March 31st.
The Cards have limited the number of starts the staff ace makes this spring by not having him debut until March 7th. He also had to pitch on three days rest with strep throat to remain on schedule following a rain out in Fort Myers.
Here's the rest of Mike Matheny's lineup today versus the Mets:
1) Matt Carpenter - 3B
2) Jhonny Peralta - SS
3) Matt Holliday - DH
4) Allen Craig - 1B
5) Yadier Molina - C
6) Stephen Piscotty - RF
7) Kolten Wong - 2B
8) Jon Jay - CF
9) Randal Grichuk - LF
Following Wainwright out of the bullpen will be Randy Choate, Kevin Siegrist, Sam Freeman, Seth Maness, Keith Butler and Jorge Rondon.
-- Despite the fact Matt Adams is not in today's lineup, Matheny's 1-5 is exactly like what is projected once the regular season opens. Carpenter leading off is something that won't change for quite a while, Peralta fits the number two profile as someone who can provide damage in front of the big boys. Then Holliday, Craig and Molina figure to hit 3-4-5 this season. Until someone such as Wong proves himself enough with getting on base and even stealing, this is the way it will be. Once Wong can do that, he could potentially jump up to the leadoff spot, pushing Carpenter to number two (where many believe he profiles best anyway) and dropping Peralta to seven. We're a long way off from that but it's something to keep in mind moving forward.
-- Seth Maness is back in line to pitch again today. The righty sinkerballer got off to a brutal start this spring (six runs allowed in first four appearances) but has gotten back on track over the last couple outings (2.1 innings, no hits or runs allowed). Maness is an interesting case because he doesn't have dominant stuff. He's not overpowering like others on the Cardinals staff. When that's the case you rely on pinpoint control and location. You have significantly less margin for error than a guy who throws 100 miles per hour. At the beginning of camp Maness was missing his spots almost regularly. That led to all the hits and the runs. But he's gotten into a nice groove again and should be ready to resume his role of middle reliever who comes in during a tight spot to induce a ground ball.