Sunny, 75 degrees
Shelby Miller was cleared to throw on flat ground on Thursday, one day after the team announced he was dealing with tightness in his shoulder. It likely will be several more days before Miller is cleared to resume throwing off a mound, however.
The news on shortstop Rafael Furcal’s right elbow was not as positive. One day after pushing it fairly hard during practice, he reported that his elbow was hurting. Furcal already had been on a reduced program and was not expected to appear in exhibition games anytime soon. General Manager John Mozeliak said, however, he was not going to overreact to the news. “We’ve always been concerned, but in terms of the soreness, it’s probably a case of him doing too much yesterday. Still we are going to back off and slow him down a little bit.” Mozeliak said it was too early to predict if Furcal will be ready to play on opening day April 1. “I’m not at the point where I am worried about opening day,” he said, “but I also don’t want to act like it’s a slam dunk.”
On the field:
Miller had been penciled in to start the second game of the spring on Sunday, but that start will now go to left-hander John Gast, with another left-hander, Tyler Lyons, following him to the mound. Manager Mike Matheny also said Adam Wainwright will make his first start of the spring on Monday, and if he pitches every five days, that would put him on a path to start opening day, April 1, in Arizona. Wainwright has made only one opening day start in his career, in 2009, at home versus Pittsburgh…. Mozeliak said it was his understanding that outfielder Oscar Taveras will not be playing for either Canada or the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic… The Cardinals have scheduled a B game against the Marlins on Feb. 28… Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter has been added to the Cardinals’ list of special instructors who will be coming to spring training, but the exact dates of his visit have not been set.
Off the field:
Wainwright said Thursday there will be no negotiations regarding a new contract with the Cardinals for at least 10 days because his agent, Steve Hammond, left Thursday for a 10-day trip to Israel. Hammond is expected in Jupiter after his trip and Wainwright is still hopeful a deal can be reached before the end of spring training. “We’re working towards getting something done,” he said. “We are in mile four of a 26-year mile marathon. Things are not going to be easy.”