(BaseballStL) -- The Redbirds hit the road to Port St. Lucie today for an afternoon matchup against the Mets at Digital Domain Park. Today is Adam Wainwright's second start of spring training. Here's the lineup that will back him:
1) Daniel Descalso - SS
2) Skip Schumaker - CF
3) Carlos Beltran - RF
4) David Freese - DH
5) Matt Adams - 1B
6) Yadier Molina - C
7) Matt Carpenter - 3B
8) Tyler Greene - 2B
9) Erik Komatsu - LF
Storylines for today's game:
-- Two words: Adam Wainwright. If you talk to players on the Cardinals about why they feel they are going to have no problem remaining competitive despite the losses of Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols they'll all say the same thing. They are gaining a Cy Young caliber pitcher. Wainwright has never won that award...but he absolutely gets the credit he is due for being one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. You could put anyone on the mound for the other team and as long as Adam Wainwright is pitching is going for the Cards, you have to feel pretty good about the Redbirds' chances to win. For him in his second start today it's all about taking that next step towards being 100% completely past his rehab instead of in the final stages. He should go 3 innings today. Look for that sharpness in his stuff to remain.
-- Carlos Beltran told reporters yesterday that he couldn't even throw. He said he expected to DH a little bit more before he goes in the field. Surprise!! Beltran is in the starting lineup out in right field. Not quite sure what changed from yesterday to this morning (check my twitter feed - @BFeldman - where I'll find out that information from manager Mike Matheny). Beltran also said yesterday the game was "too fast" for him. But considering the track record in his career I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. These guys have been playing for so long they know what they need to do to get their bodies ready for the regular season. They typically don't do very much in the offseason so when they first get to spring training it's all about knocking the rust off. Then by the time they get to those final 10 games of Grapefruit League play...it's full speed ahead. Need to see Beltran look healthy out in the field though.
-- Daniel Descalso makes the start at shortstop today. When determining the final spots on the bench, Descalso absolutely is deserving of one. But his ability to play some shortstop might have a say in what needs the Cardinals have for the other bench spots. For instance, do they need to keep Alex Cora to have another infielder to back up Rafael Furcal? Right now only Tyler Greene is considered a legitimate backup to Furcal. But Greene's looking like the primary 2nd baseman right now. If Descalso can play shortstop in a pinch (something that he has done before but needs a few more reps) then quite possibly GM John Mozeliak could opt for an extra outfielder rather than need another infielder for depth purposes. It's all about the need. -- Matt Carpenter is one of those guys who's fighting for a bench spot on the major league roster. Carpenter was a spring training surprise in 2011 but failed to make the team at the end. He spent just about the entire year in AAA while posting an on-base percentage well over .400 for Memphis. Carpenter needs to show versatility (something he's done a little so far by playing the OF) but he also needs to keep his bat alive. His biggest asset is his ability to get on base. Defense is nice. They won't keep you if you can only play one position. But if he gets on base at that rate again...he'd be awfully hard to ignore.
-- Matt Adams makes another start. Make no mistake about it...he's earning these at-bats. You don't continue to get playing time in big league spring training games if you're not impressing and Adams is impressing. He's a big body that offers something this organization does not have a lot of. Left-handed power. At one point in time Colby Rasmus could say that...but he's based in another country nowadays. Lance Berkman won't be around forever. In fact, he's on a one year deal. Adams could find his way into a lot of ABs at that position in 2013 if things go his way.