St. Louis Cardinals Prospect sightings plentiful in Springfield

8:03 AM, Apr 3, 2012   |    comments
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(The Chirp) -- Next Game: St. Louis at Miami Marlins, 6:05 p.m., Wednesday

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny all but tipped his cap to all area Cardinals fans on Monday, saying, "I know this city is extremely excited about us being here and the opportunity to see some of these guys. It's good to be a part of that," manager Mike Matheny said.
Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker spent a lot of time, too, signing autographs, and Holliday did one better during pre-game introductions: As he ran up to the line forming along the third-base line, he leaped and chest-bumped an equipment manager.

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 Wednesday at the Miami Marlins.

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.

Trevor Rosenthal, subbing for St. Louis' starting pitchers resting for Wednesday's opener, worked four perfect innings, striking out five, including the side in the third.

He showed an excellent curveball and worked both sides of the plate in his unofficial debut at Hammons Field.

"Anytime I have the opportunity, I just view it as a priviledge," said Rosenthal, who is skipping high Class A Palm Beach this season after helping Quad Cities win the low Class A Midwest League. "I try to go out there and respect the game and respect my teammates."

The only big-league reliever used Monday was right-hander Kyle McClellan, who worked the fifth inning. He gave up a pair of one-out singles before getting Nike Vasquez to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
"If you're going to come up here, you want to throw in the game," reliever Kyle McClellan said prior to the game. "For me, to throw one more and have an off day and go into games would be right where I want to be."

Another nice surprise Monday was a relief appearance by Carlos Martinez, a 20-year-old right-hander who is rated as the Cardinals' No. 2 prospect behind Shelby Miller.

Martinez worked the final four innings, recovering after allowing two runs in the sixth inning when Oscar Taveras tripled home Kolten Wong and then scored on Xavier Scruggs' groundout. Martinez, ticketed for Palm Beach, struck out Taveras to end the game.

The difference in Monday's game was a home run by Ronny Gil off Keith Butler in the seventh. Gil hit .260 last season in Quad Cities and is ticketed for Palm Beach this season.

Rainel Rosario, playing left field, also had a highlight, throwing out big-leaguer Erik Komatsu as the runner tried to stretch a single into a double in the eighth.

Vance Albitz and Matt Carpenter opened the sixth with singles and then scored on Tony Cruz's groundout and Komatsu's sacrifice flyout.
Albitz was subbing for outfielder Matt Holliday, who played the first four innings before being removed.


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