Partly cloudy, 80 degrees
Rob Johnson, a non-roster catcher probably ticketed for Triple A Memphis, was the offensive star of the pitch-coach five-inning intra-squad game on Friday with a two-run homer and a bases-loaded double, giving him a total of five RBI. Ty Wigginton also homered and added a single, and Matt Carpenter had two doubles. Team Jay defeated Team Descalso, the respective leadoff hitters, 11-4. Memphis pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd pitched the complete game, for both teams.
As expected, Rafael Furcal did not play in the field but did bat, right-handed, while serving as the DH. He had a double and single in his three at-bats. Manager Mike Matheny did not express any additional concern about the health of Furcal’s elbow, saying, “There will be days when he’s OK and there will be days when he won’t be.”
On the field:
Before the intra-squad game, Shelby Miller completed a scheduled bullpen session without any additional pain in his shoulder. Assuming he is OK on Saturday, he likely will throw a live BP Monday or Tuesday and could be scheduled for his first game of the spring by next weekend. “I knew I was going to throw a good pen but the biggest thing is how it feels in the days to come,” Miller said … Ryan Jackson, a longshot candidate for the backup infield spot, had a pair of singles and also turned in a nice defensive play while playing third base in the intra-squad game … Kolten Wong and Adron Chambers also had two hits apiece in the game.
In the clubhouse:
The Cardinals will begin their early minor-league camp for 24 selected players on Saturday, which includes six players from last year’s amateur draft – outfielders James Ramsey and Stephen Piscotty, third basemen Carson Kelly and Patrick Wisdom, catcher Steve Bean and left-handed pitcher Tim Cooney. Also invited are pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Jordan Swagerty, both of whom are recovering from injuries, and former No. 1 draft pick Seth Blair, who is coming off an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League. Others invited include right-handed pitcher Victor De Leon, outfielders C.J. McElroy and Charlie Tilson, also out all last year with an injury, and shortstop Jake Lemmerman, the player acquired from the Dodgers in the Skip Schumaker trade in December.
Off the field:
The Cardinals officially placed pitcher Chris Carpenter on the 60-day disabled list, which opens up a spot on the 40-man roster. The Cardinals will keep that roster at 39 for the time being … Three of the Cardinals 20 games at Roger Dean Stadium are now sold out except for standing room only tickets. Those three games are Feb. 24 against the Red Sox, March 7 against the Yankees and March 16 against the Tigers.
Matheny said he expects to field almost the full regular starting lineup for Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Marlins. Trevor Rosenthal will be on the mound, to be followed by non-roster right-handed Michael Wacha, who has been one of the early camp stars. Each is scheduled to pitch two innings.