Thursday is tipping point for Cards' 5th starter competition

2013-03-11T15:15:00Z 2015-02-10T14:04:40Z Thursday is tipping point for Cards' 5th starter competitionBy Derrick Goold 314-340-8285

TAMPA, Fla. • Joe Kelly will start Thursday's game, Shelby Miller will appear in relief, and after that one will emerge as the Cardinals' fifth starter for the opening day roster.

Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said one of those two pitchers "will get the last three starts."

That leaves Thursday as the last audition for the role.

The reason the move must be made after Thursday's game is because innings are scarce. Michael Wacha, the prospect, will also be listed as available Thursday, but there it is possible that no innings will be available if Miller and Kelly pitch efficiently and hit their pitch counts.

After Thursday, the selected fifth starter will need the remaining three starts to build pitch count toward the required 100 that Lilliquist wants his pitchers ready to throw in their first game.

More information coming out of Steinbrenner Field, where the Yankees defeated the Cardinals 4-0 today:

• Cardinals manager Mike Matheny underwent surgery this morning in St. Louis to address the back pain that has limited him in the past week. The surgery went as prescribed, GM John Mozeliak said. Matheny is expected back in Florida on Wednesday night, though Mozeliak said the team will urge him to take a slow pace when deciding how to return to games and whether to travel with the team.

• GM Brian Cashman dropped some interesting nuggets in the Yankees clubhouse this morning, describing the list of players he reached out to — or tried to — in order to fill the Yankees needs at the corner infield positions. He said he talked with Derrek Lee about joining the Yankees. He asked a few reporters to put out on Twitter that he would be interested in talking Chipper Jones out of retirement. And he acknowledged that he called Scott Rolen's agent to see if Rolen would like to play for the Yankees.

He called Lee a "Yankee-type player."

As for Rolen, he said the conversation didn't get far: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained. ... If the circumstances were right in every category playing-wise, money-wise, he might be interested in certain things."

• Cards outfielder Adron Chambers did not appear in the game for the first time this spring. His streak ends at 15.

• Lance Lynn pitched four innings and allowed one run on two hits. The run came on a solo homer by Kevin Youkilis. Lynn said it was a "slider that didn't slide" that Youkilis hit out over the left-field wall. Lynn made 68 pitches, 44 of which were strikes. He was able to mix in all of his pitches, including a solid command of his curve.


Freese returns to field

Cardinals infielder David Freese will return to the field for the first time since a swinging gate and a foul popup conspired to knock him onto his backside a week ago at Roger Dean Stadium.

Freese will start at third base this afternoon.

After tumbling into the stands last Monday, Freese had been limited to designated hitter duties for the past week because of a bruised tailbone.

Here is the lineup the Cardinals will have for the afternoon game at the ballpark formerly known as Legends Field:

1. Jon Jay, CF

2. Matt Carpenter, 2B

3. David Freese, 3B

4. Matt Adams, DH

5. Shane Robinson, LF

6. Jamie Romak, 1B

7. Pete Kozma, SS

8. Justin Christian, RF

9. J.R. Towles, C


Yankees who are healthy await Lynn and Cards

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter with make his second appearance of spring training this afternoon in a nationally televised game against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Mike Matheny won't be there to see it.

The first of two games without the Cardinals manager -- as he returns to St. Louis for back surgery -- will be on ESPN this afternoon. The Cardinals are bringing a representative team north to Tampa and George M. Steinbrenner Field. Jon Jay and David Freese are expected to be in the Cardinals' lineup, and Lance Lynn is scheduled to start.

The Cardinals drove up from Jupiter, Fla., on Sunday night, but the lineup was not available yet this morning.

Here is the lineup -- filled with pretty much the starters the Yankees have who are healthy -- Lynn will be facing:

1. Brett Gardner, LF

2. Derek Jeter, SS

3. Ichiro Suzuki, RF

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. Eduardo Nunez, SS

6. Chris Stewart, C

7. Corban Joseph, 2B

8. Ronnier Mustelier, 3B

9. Slade Heathcott, CF

Hiroki Kuroda is set to pitch for the Yankees.

Check back throughout the day here at for updates from the game. There will be a Cardinals Chat during the game, starting at 11:30 a.m. St. Louis time here at I'll be joining from the press box at The Boss.

Derrick Goold covers the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for The Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @dgoold or on Facebook at

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Cardinal Beat

Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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