As far as hints at the ballpark go, the Cardinals are more likely to reveal some of their decisions early by what they do on the field before a game than what they announce on Twitter.
When Paul Goldschmidt was hampered by a sore back and about to miss the home opener, an early indication was Matt Carpenter coming out earlier that day to take groundballs at first base and go through a progression of drills. On Sunday morning, with no BP on the field, a pair of outfielders came out to take fly balls and work on throws and cutoffs to second base.
Austin Dean went to left, and Dylan Carlson, the Cardinals' starter in center field the first eight games of the season, went to right.
Cue the deduction.
Within 30 minutes, the Cardinals made the apparent official.
Lane Thomas' promotion to the major-league roster was one of a series of moves made Sunday morning before the series final against Milwaukee. Thomas, a center fielder, is poised to run that position for awhile and shift Carlson to right field, where the Cardinals had cleared the way for Carlson to call home.
In addition to Thomas' promotion, the Cardinals moved Tyler O'Neill (groin) to the 10-day injured list and swapped pitchers for a fresh arm.
Jake Woodford was optioned to the Cardinals' alternate site in Sauget, Ill., and righthander Johan Oviedo was brought to the majors to work in the long relief role.
"Favorable news from an imaging standpoint, but still bothering him," manager Mike Shildt said of O'Neill's injury. "Probably a three to four day (situation) before he can get in there. We didn't want to play short for three or four days."
Thomas starts in center on Sunday as the Cardinals go with a righthanded-oriented lineup against the Brewers' lefty start. Shildt called the outfield "fluid" for the coming days, and that's pretty much going to apply for the first few months of the season. The Cardinals now have two of their planned outfield starters on the injured list in O'Neill and Harrison Bader (forearm).
Here is the lineup, complete with change at cleanup:
1. Tommy Edman, 2B
2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
4. Yadier Molina, C
5. Paul DeJong, SS
6. Dylan Carlson, RF
7. Austin Dean, LF
8. Lane Thomas, CF
9. Daniel Ponce de Leon, RHP
1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Daniel Vogelbach, 1B