(BaseballStL) -- The Cards are coming down the home stretch of Grapefruit League play as they battle the Mets for the final time this spring. All that's left is a couple games versus the Nationals. One in Viera (Saturday) and one in Jupiter (Sunday) then that's all she wrote for spring training 2012. Kyle Lohse takes the ball for the 6th time and the lineup backing him is as follows:
1) Daniel Descalso - SS
2) Jon Jay - CF
3) Matt Holliday - LF
4) David Freese - 3B
5) Matt Carpenter - 1B
6) Yadier Molina - C
7) Erik Komatsu - RF
8) Tyler Greene - 2B
9) Kyle Lohse - P
Relieving Lohse in the bullpen will be Jason Motte, J.C. Romero, Fernando Salas and Victor Marte
For the 2nd day in a row Daniel Descalso is leading off instead of Rafael Furcal. And not only is Furcal not leading off...he's on the bench.
Yesterday, Mike Matheny said he was simply not right and there wasn't much time left to get him going. He also went out of the way to say that Furcal is definitely the team's shortstop and this is not a plattoon situation where Furcal, Descalso and Greene are rotating among 2 spots. But you cannot ignore the fact this is the time of spring where the starters are trying to kick it into high gear and get ready for the regular season yet Furcal is nowhere to be seen.
Now, granted, Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran are also not playing so I'm sure this is a day to back off and give Furcal's legs a break. That's something that as you get older is important to make sure you're 100% (or as close as possible to it) when September and October rolls around. But the fact that Daniel Descalso is leading off again tells you something.
Descalso is technically not a starter. Furcal is the shortstop and Greene is the 2nd baseman. Descalso is supposed to be the utility guy. If he's getting a run at being an option hitting leadoff then obviously he's going to be in the lineup.
This club is infatuated (right now anyway) with Greene so he won't be relegated to strict bench duty.
So to sum up...without saying it, the Cardinals are getting plans in place should Rafael Furcal falter as an offensive table setter.