By Springfield News-Leader Staff
Springfield, MO (News-leader) - St. Louis Cardinals not only brought out most of their heavy hitters to Monday's exhibition, but they also toted along some of the minor league's more interesting prospects.
Among them is right-hander Carlos Martinez, rated the No. 2 prospect behind Shelby Miller. Martinez is expected to follow prospect right-hander Trevor Rosenthal in tonight's exhibition game.
Martinez, 20, is opening the season at high Class A Palm Beach.
Manager Mike Matheny downplayed the outlook for veteran Rafael Furcal, saying the 34-year-old is the team's starting shortstop but not going so far as to say he will be the opening day shortstop.
Furcal, who did not travel with the club, started the final Grapefruit League game Sunday but batted eighth as the club tries to ease him into the lineup. Furcal underwent surgeries for a sports hernia and appendectomy this past offseason.
"We're just trying to make sure we don't push him too far," general manager John Mozeliak said.