(BaseballStL) -- The Cards fall to the Astros at Roger Dean Stadium by the score of 4-3 which drops their record to 4-5-1 in Grapefruit League play. The highs and lows of the day from Jupiter:
-- Lance Lynn was terrific in his first start as the official Plan B to Chris Carpenter. Lynn went 3 innings and gave up no runs on just 2 hits. He also struck out 3. Both of the hits came in the first inning so it was clear that he got sharper as the day went on. In talking with him after the game he says, no matter what happens, this is a great experience for him going forward. He's a starting pitcher by trade so it allows him to do what he loves...but when he goes back to the bullpen (when Carpenter returns healthy) he'll be even better. That's because he has 4 pitches in his arsenal but doesn't get to use them when in the bullpen. Lynn says you don't have very much time to get ready back there so you only can work on getting your best 2 pitches working. Plus, you only need a couple pitches in the bullpen as it is. So there's 2 other pitches he hasn't been able to use in a while that he's excited to be able to get into action once more. He says the fact he gets to sharpen those is a great thing because it's not uncommon in the bullpen to go to a 3rd or 4th pitch. It's very rare...such as throwing a changeup to a lefty. But if he's in the bullpen for a long time he has not had the opportunity to sharpen those others. Now that he's a starter again, he can do that with his 3rd/4th pitches...and be ready to use then however sparingly in the 'pen in the future.
-- Speaking of Chris Carpenter, he played catch for the first time today since getting tested for a possible nerve-related injury. Carpenter says he no longer is dealing with any range of motion problems so that allowed him to take a smaller step forward in getting back on the mound. He says he has no idea what the next step is...but admits it's never fun dealing with injuries.
-- After today's game the Cards made a few roster moves. Pitchers Maikel Cleto, Brandon Dickson, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Kevin Siegrist were all sent to the minors. So were infielders Pete Kozma and Zack Cox. There are no real surprises with those moves. Minor league camp is already open and games are starting very soon so this is an opportunity to get some of these guys back to the teams they'll be playing on this year and get them regular playing time. The only one I thought might stick around a little bit longer was Brandon Dickson. He made it to the end of camp last year as the fake competition for Kyle McClellan in the rotation. Dickson also came up briefly to the majors as an innings eater. He'll be in the AAA rotation again, for sure, but the fact he didn't make it past March 14th is a little disappointing for him.
-- Matt Holliday went 3-4 today and is now hitting .462 this spring. But he says that really doesn't mean all that much to him. He is just trying to get his timing down right now and really doesn't care too much about results. Talking to Carlos Beltran a few days ago he said he starts to care about that roughtly 10 games before the regular season starts. But Holliday says that's a little much. He starts treating spring training like the regular season about 4 or 5 days prior. He claims he is not ahead of schedule even though the numbers are there.