JUPITER, FL -- Earlier this week Mike Matheny said things were about to get "interesting" as it regards to determining who will join Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha and John Lackey in the starting rotation. Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales have each made three starts.
Thursday, Jaime Garcia gets his third.
After this it's going to be awfully hard for Matheny to get starts for all three of those guys competing for that last spot. Wacha will start tomorrow in Port St. Lucie and Wainwright will make his debut Saturday at home against the Braves. Sunday and Monday's starters have not yet been announced.
Here's Matheny's lineup for Thursday's tilt against the Mets:
1) Matt Carpenter - 3B
2) Jason Heyward - RF
3) Matt Holliday - LF
4) Jhonny Peralta - SS
?5) Yadier Molina - DH
6) Mark Reynolds - DH
7) Matt Adams - 1B
8) Kolten Wong - 2B
9) Peter Bourjos - CF
-- Following Garcia out of the bullpen will be a group consisting of Seth Maness, Trevor Rosenthal, Jordan Walden, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, Sam Freeman, Nick Greenwood and Dean Kiekhefer.
-- Here we go. Peter Bourjos is getting yet another start today. In seven Grapefruit League games, the speedy outfielder is 1-23. That's a .043 batting average and a paltry .120 on-base percentage due to a couple walks. It's been a frustrating spring for him to this point. Even Matheny admitted "Bourjos is definitely concerned about Bourjos" the other day. With Randal Grichuk among the stars of camp with his three home runs and even Ty Kelly's emergence with a .433 on-base percentage it's getting more and more crowded for spots on the bench. There are still a couple weeks' worth of games left here in Florida before the Cardinals have to make a final decision, but Bourjos really needs to bust out soon or he could be on the outside looking in come April 5th.
-- Jason Heyward's overall numbers look quite good in Grapefruit League play. He's hitting .412 (7-17) but every single hit of his has been a single thus far. Obviously, the Cards wouldn't complain too much if Heyward continues to get on base at that type of clip. But the reason the Cardinals traded for him wasn't to slap singles to left field all day. It was to drive the ball into the gap - and over the fence. Heyward's swing got a little out of whack last year when the Braves hit him at leadoff despite the fact he'd been groomed as a middle-of-the-order bat. Getting the Georgia boy out of that mentality and back to where he was could be paramount to the Redbirds success this season.