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Cards Notebook: Rondon finally makes debut

Cards Notebook: Rondon finally makes debut

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St. Louis Cardinals spring training Rondon

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jorge Rondon throws live batting practice at the Cardinals spring training complex at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. Photo By David Carson dcarson@post-dispatch.com

LOS ANGELES To replenish a bullpen taxed by covering short starts twice already in the four-game series, the Cardinals recalled righty Jorge Rondon from Class AAA Memphis for Sunday’s game.

The third time proved the charm for Rondon. Twice previously, the righty had been promoted only to sit in the majors without an appearance. Rondon made his debut in the seventh inning and walked one without allowing a run.

To make room on the roster the Cardinals optioned Eric Fornataro back to Memphis, while keeping long reliever lefty Nick Greenwood.

The Cardinals elected to bring Rondon up from Triple-A because of his ability to pitch two innings if Shelby Miller faltered.

Cards manager Mike Matheny allowed that the team will consider shifting back to 13 position players and 12 pitchers for Tuesday’s game in San Francisco. For the past week, the Cardinals have carried 13 pitchers for insurance.

ALL-STAR WORK

The Cardinals players who wished to vote on the All-Star Game participants completed and sealed their ballots this weekend, as did Matheny, who will make some of the final calls on the National League in the coming days. Matheny he expects to find out the results of the player vote sometime this week, and that will guide any of the final decisions he has to make as the NL’s manager for the 85th midsummer classic.

Matheny’s choices could be limited as he also has to make sure all 15 National League teams are represented before he can make some selections.

“I think (the players’ vote) is probably a better barometer than some of the fan votes where you’re seeing some of the guys in some markets that are being proactive in their marketing seeing it in their votes,” Matheny said. “We’ll take everything into considering.”

Matheny, a first-time All-Star manager, said he’s enjoying the process.

The rosters will be announced next weekend.

CLARIFYING COLLISIONS

Matheny met personally in his office at Dodger Stadium on Sunday with Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre to talk about two of the game’s rule revisions for this season – the limiting of collisions at home plate and expanded replay.

During Saturday’s game, the umpires had to review a play at the plate where pitcher Lance Lynn blocked access to the plate while sliding in front of it with the ball. The batter was out, but the play prompted questions about the extent of the rule that prohibits players from inviting contact by blocking the plate without the ball.

Matheny said Torre clarified that the rule prohibits all players, not just catchers.

“Looking at the end game, we haven’t seen those terrible collisions at the plate,” Matheny said. “The rule in and of itself is effective in my opinion because of that. Clarificiation with the blocking or the not blocking – that’s trying to work its way out. Is this is blocking the plate without the ball? Is this going out of your way to maliciously try to hit the catcher?

“We’ll be clarifying a few more until everybody has a better vision of that’s what the play is supposed to look like.”

EXTRA BASES

• A total of 195,432 fans attended the four-game series at Dodger Stadium, crushing the previous record for a four-game visit from the Cardinals (185,368 in July 1995). 

 Lance Lynn (blister) received treatment to help him rebuild a callous on the middle finger on his right hand. He had to leave Saturday’s game because he lost a feel for his breaking ball as the blister gave way. … Back from a shoulder ailment for a couple of innings Saturday, All-Star Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was back on the bench Sunday with a calf injury. 

 The Dodgers placed Justin Turner on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain that he sustained legging out a double against the Cardinals on Saturday.

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