Cardinals spring training report for Saturday March 10

By Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – When the Cardinals re-signed reliever Jason Motte last month, one of the popular theories was that part of his decision was based on the location of the organization’s Triple A team, in his hometown of Memphis.

With no disrespect to his hometown, however, Motte said on Saturday his goal this season is to pitch in the major leagues.

“It didn’t matter where I would have signed, my goal is to be in the big leagues,” he said. “My goal is not to be in Triple A. That’s not really anyone’s goal. I want to put myself in a position so when the team break that the team sees I can go up there and help them win big league games. That’s what I’m here for.”

Motte pitched around two hits in a scoreless inning on Saturday, recording two strikeouts, and hitting 96 miles per hour on the radar gun.

“I’m just going out there and trying to feel healthy and get guys out,” Motte said. “Everything feels fine.”

The Cardinals have a lot of competition for what probably will be six righthanders in the bullpen, with most of the spots probably already committed, barring injury. Motte is among a group that includes Mike Mayers, Josh Lucas and John Gant trying to force their way into the discussion.

“I’m not the evaluator here,” Motte said. “I can only worry about what I do. I think I have some things to offer (from my experience) and was talking with some of the guys today about that, their mindset. My goal, like that of everyone in the clubhouse, is to be in St. Louis.”

Motte has appeared in four games this spring, plus one B game, and has been unscored on in all but one of them, giving up five runs last week against the Braves.

“He made some good pitches today, climbing the ladder, better velocity, had a couple of hard hit balls but he managed the inning well,” said manager Mike Matheny.

“We’ve had a lot of guys who have thrown well.”

Other news and notes from Saturday:

At the plate: Both Harrison Bader and Adolis Garcia went 1-for-3 as they continue to battle for a spot on the roster as a backup outfielder. Bader doubled in the seventh and scored on a single by Garcia, two of just four hits in the game for the Cardinals … Dexter Fowler had a triple and Greg Garcia had a double.

On the mound:
Michael Wacha allowed four runs in four innings, allowing six hits while walking one and striking out four … Brett Cecil made his first appearance and gave up a solo homer to Starlin Castro … Matt Bowman had his first rough outing of the spring, giving up three hits and two runs In one inning.

In the clubhouse:
Former Cardinal Lance Lynn finally found a team for this season, reportedly agreeing Saturday to a one-year, $12 million deal with the Twins. The Cardinals will receive an extra pick in the June amateur draft as compensation, at the end of the competitive balance round B picks. As of now, that would be the 77th pick in the draft. The Cardinals also currently have picks 19, 42 and 77 … With an off-day coming on Monday, the Cardinals could send some more players to the minor league camp on Sunday.

Up next:
The Cardinals will play the Washington Nationals on Sunday in West Palm Beach, with Luke Weaver getting the start. The team also will play an intrasquad game in the morning to try to get some of their pitchers more work.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains