St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on March 7, 2013 · Page C003
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page C003

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Page C003
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03.07.2013 THURSDAY -Ml ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH C3 Adams shows more pop as a pinch hitter Notebook His second home run of the spring boosts his chances of winning a spot on the major league roster. BY DERRICK GOOLD 314-340-8285 JUPITER, FLA. For the second time this spring, Cardinals prospect Matt Adams received a late-game pinch-hit experience Wednesday and drilled a home run that had both speed and distance, this time pelting a patio beyond right field with a shot that traveled more than 400 feet. "I guess he can pinch hit," manager Mike Matheny said, grinning. It's no joke. With each swing this spring, Adams has muscled his way into the mix for a bench spot on the major-league roster. Adams has two homers and seven RBIs to go with a .471 average. The organization, as a whole, believes that he has proven himself at Class AAA, and there is elasticity in the roster to create a spot for him off the bench, where he'd serve as a pinch-hitter. "He has nothing left to prove (in Memphis)," Matheny said. "The guy can hit. It's just a matter whether he fits in right. It's not a question anymore of can he perform in (the big leagues). He can hit here or anywhere. He doesn't need to show us more." Adams is limited in the field to first base, and the Cardinals have two backups at that position, veteran Ty Wigginton and Matt Carpenter. The need for a backup center fielder takes another spot on the bench. But as the Cardinals sort through their options, Allen Craig's ability to play ASSOCIATED PRESS First baseman Matt Adams has nothing left to prove in the minors, manager Mike Matheny says. the outfield would create playing time for Adams on days Craig spells veterans Carlos Beltran or Matt Holliday. Adams' lefthanded thump would also be valuable in a late -inning pinch. A week after sending a pinch-hit homer over the 17-foot wall in center field at Boston's ballpark, Adams lifted a ball to the patio outside the Cardinals' offices at Roger Dean Stadium. That patio is about 20 feet high and 20 feet beyond the right -field fence. Adams' homer was one of five hit by the Cardinals in a 7-2 victory against Miami. Matt Holliday and Oscar Taveras hit two-run shots; Ronny Cedeno and Rob Johnson added solos. "I just have to come (in that role) and if it's a good pitch, I've got to swing early," Adams said. "Most of the time you're facing their eighth-inning guy or their closer. If you fall behind, they'll bury you. FURCAL SEES ANDREWS Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal met with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday afternoon to have a second evaluation of his problematic right elbow. He will return to the team's complex today to choose between suggested treatment options, one of which would be surgery to repair the ligament. Furcal was diagnosed with a mild tear of the ligament in August, and a bone spur developed this offseason in the joint. The ligament became inflamed last week and Furcal stopped baseball activities. In November, the ligament had reacted well to treatment, and surgery was not recommended at the time, Cardinals officials said. Furcal, 35, was prescribed a rehab program, but he has been unable to throw with maximum effort at spring training. If surgery is considered this time, the recovery time could be between six and eight months. MCGEE JOINS CARDS, OFFICIALLY Willie McGee, the beloved No. 51 from the Cardinals' charismatic teams in the 1980s, has been hired as a special assistant the general manager, the club announced Wednesday. McGee joins the team in an official capacity after several years as a guest instructor, most recently at Matheny's invitation. McGee, a former MVP who played 18 seasons in the majors and won two batting titles, will work with outfielders in the minor-league system in a role similar to what he's had at spring training. He will also serve as another set of eyes on the organization's minor-league players, reporting to general manager John Mozeliak and Matheny. "It's such a treat to have him around," Matheny said. BELTRAN IN LINEUP FOR PUERTO RICO Beltran, who missed several days of Cardinals workouts with a severely bruised toe, started in right field and went one for three with a double in Team Puerto Rico's loss to Boston on Tuesday. Matheny said he received a text message from Beltran that said he was feeling good and "not to worry." Beltran, Yadier Molina and pitchers Mitchell Boggs and Fernando Salas have left the Cardinals' major-league camp to participate in the World Baseball Classic, and all four appeared in games Tuesday. Molina had an RBI and started at catcher for Puerto Rico. Salas pitched a scoreless second inning for Team Mexico, and Boggs struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning for Team USA against the White Sox. CARDINALS FROMCl With competition hot for the Cardinals' lone starting pitching spot, Rosenthal appears to be headed for a role out of the bullpen frames in the Cardinals' 7-2 exhibition win Wednesday. But Rosenthal too often pitched behind in the count, and that merited a three -pronged discussion among Rosenthal, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and Matheny after the game in which Rosenthal was encouraged to get ahead in the counts. "Pitching ahead a little more of hitters will be my main focus from here on out," Rosenthal said afterward. "I've only had a couple innings in the games I've had. I need to keep getting innings. "The big thing right now is to have that starter's mentality. Come out of the bullpen prepared for that first inning." The fact that Rosenthal, advertised as a candidate for the lone starting job that's available, has pitched twice in the bullpen and the other two candidates, Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller, are starting the next two games for the Cardinals would suggest that Rosenthal's immediate future would be in the bullpen, similar to last sea son when he was brought up a couple of times and again in the postseason when he was dominant. But Matheny said, "Not yet," when asked if Rosenthal was being classified as a reliever. "I thought he did a great job," Matheny said after the 22-year-old's effort Wednesday. "He looks real good to me." Matheny allowed that it will be difficult to give too many potential starters the innings that starters need at this stage as the five rotation members try to get A:- 7 7 7T7T where they can throw 100 pitches by the end of camp. Then he said the team was "getting close" to determining roles for the likes of Rosenthal; Kelly, who relieved eight times last season; and Miller. Rosenthal has seemed calmer coming out of the bullpen than he did when he started but Matheny said that wasn't an apt comparison. "His first day, he was over-amped," Matheny said. "He couldn't wait to show off what he had been working on all winter. But that's not a fair assessment. "It's true what you saw but to throw that over top of him, I don't think is that accurate." Sanchez had a spotless sixth inning Wednesday and has a 2.08 earned run average over five appearances. Significantly, he hasn't walked anybody in 4 V3 innings while striking out six. Previously, command had not been his friend as the Venezuelan battled through shoulder difficulties the past two seasons. He walked 34 hitters in 42 23 innings combined at St. Louis and Memphis last season. The year before with the Cardinals, opponents batted just .144 against Sanchez, who may have the best stuff on the staff, but he walked 16 in 30 innings. Sanchez said Wednesday that his shoulder didn't hurt anymore and that he felt he finally Cardinals 8, Marlins 2 (8) Miami CARDINALS ab r h bi ab r h bi Pierre If 3 0 10 M.Carpenter 2b 3 2 0 0 Yelichlf 1 0 0 0 Beltran rf 0 10 0 Polanco3b 3 0 10 S.Robinson rf 4 0 2 1 Cox 3b 1 0 0 0 Holliday If 2 0 0 0 Stanton rf 3 2 3 0 Chambers pr-lf 10 11 J.Brown pr-rf 0 0 0 0 Craig dh 2 110 Brantlyc 3 0 1 1 Wongpr-dh 10 0 0 J.Realmutoc 0 0 0 0 Y.Molina lb 3 111 Keamsdh 3 0 0 0 Ma.Adamslb 10 0 0 Kotchmanlb 3 0 2 1 Taveras cf 4 114 Mahoney pr-lb 1 0 0 0 Wigginton 3b 3 110 Valaikass 3 0 0 0 Kozma3b 10 0 0 N.Green ss 1 0 0 0 T.Cmzc 3 0 11 Figgins 2b 3 0 0 0 Towlesc 1110 M.Downs2b 1 0 0 0 R.Cedenoss 2 0 0 0 Mattisoncf 3 0 0 0 G.Garcia ss 10 0 0 Petersen cf 10 0 0 Totals 33 2 S 2 Totals 32 S 9 S Miami 100 OOl 00-2 CARDINALS 600 000 02 - S E: Mattison (1). DP: Miami 2, CARDINALS 1. LOB: Miami 6, CARDINALS 8. 2B: Stanton (1), Kotchman (1), Wigginton (1). 3B: Stanton (1). HR: Taveras (1). CS: Pierre (1). SF: Chambers. IP H R ER BB SO Miami JaJurner .1 4 6 6 3 0 Slowey 2.2 1 0 0 0 2 S.Dyson 1 0 0 0 1 0 Webb 1 0 0 0 0 0 E.Reed 1 0 0 0 0 1 Z.Phillips 1 2 0 0 0 2 A.Caminero 12 2 110 CARDINALS Westbrook 14 1 10 1 T.Lyons 2 2 0 0 0 1 Rosenthal 3 2 1 111 Choate 1 0 0 0 0 0 Boggs 1 0 0 0 2 0 K.Butler 1.1 0 0 0 0 3 HBP: by S.Dyson (Holliday), by JaJurner (Beltran). PB: J.Realmuto. Umpires: Home, Sean Barber; First, Mike Estabrook; Second, CB Bucknor; Third, Angel Hernandez. T: 1:42. A: 3,608 (7,000). had found that elusive control. Matheny knows how deep his righthanded bullpen is with Jason Motte, Boggs, Edward Mujica, Salas and potentially Rosenthal, but he likes what he's seen of Sanchez. "He's been in the strike zone. He's been getting the 'ugly' swings," said Matheny. A laudatory Lilliquist said, "Whew. His command is in order, his arm looks healthy and everything he's doing is positive." Asked about Sanchez's chances of cracking the Cardinals' bullpen, Lilliquist said, "I have an open mind to a lot of different situations. "If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's pretty impressive. When I watch guys take an at-bat off him, it's a very uncomfortable at-bat." Matheny said Sanchez "never really was out of the picture. He's a guy who's got electric stuff. We know he can pitch at this level. We don't rule out anybody. It's way too early to do that." $2,695 J InoolloH II ioiciiicu i 70,000 BTU Furnace Ij 2-12 Ton Air Conditioner j 2-12 Ton Coil : Present equipment- : & Flue Type May i3acx Vary Price. Take Advantage $1000 Lennox Rebates,, Plus more rebates from your utility co. "On Select Qualifying Systems WE SERVICE ALL MAKES AND MODELS Expires 3312013

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