St. Louis Cardinals | Regional Daily News St. Louis Cardinals 2015-03-31T10:10:38Z St. Louis Cardinals Martinez driven to remain a starting pitcher A day after telling manager Mike Matheny it was his "dream" to earn a place in a Major League rotation, right-hander Carlos Martinez began to shift his priorities. He is no longer driven by his desire to be a starter, but now rather by his intent to stick as one. Wainwright named Opening Night starter Having delayed the announcement in order to make sure Adam Wainwright made it through his third and final Spring Training start, manager Mike Matheny, after watching Wainwright's 6 2/3-inning performance on Tuesday, finally made official what everyone has known. Wainwright will take the mound at Wrigley Field on Sunday April 5 at 7:00 p.m. CT as the Cardinals' Opening Day starter. He will be opposed by Chicago lefty John Lester. Wainwright looks ready for season as Cardinals fall to Marlins Ichiro Suzuki's two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth inning broke a 2-2 tie and helped the Miami Marlins pick up a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium. Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright allowed a couple of early runs, but was able to minimize damage, limiting Miami to two runs, one earned, on eight hits. Cardinals finalize their Opening Day roster Upon informing Pete Kozma and Randal Grichuk that they will begin the season on the Major League team, manager Mike Matheny all but finalized their 25-man roster on Tuesday. Wacha's rise a memory Cards hope to relive Before they became rotation-mates and fawned over their love of all things Texas, John Lackey and Michael Wacha stared each other down from opposing sides during the 2013 World Series. Wacha got knocked down in the decisive Game 6, though that didn't keep Boston's veteran righty from taking notice of the rising rookie. Wong sees positives despite down spring In one of his better games of the spring, second baseman Kolten Wong drew two walks and scored a run in the Cardinals' 6-2 win against the Nationals on Monday. The fact that such a performance is notable is indicative of the tough time Wong has had in Grapefruit League play. Holliday drives in two to rally Cardinals Matt Holliday's two-out, two-run single off Nationals reliever Xavier Cedeno finished the Cardinals' climb out of an early two-run hole and lifted St. Louis to a 6-2 win at Roger Dean Stadium on Monday. Several players catching Matheny's eye at camp With most of Spring Training in the rearview mirror and the start of the regular season quickly approaching, manager Mike Matheny visited with to discuss a variety of team topics. To watch the full interview, click on the video link. Below are some of the highlights. Villanueva lands role in Cardinals' bullpen Pressed to make a decision before Carlos Villanueva would, the Cardinals informed the veteran right-hander on Monday that they have a spot for him in their Opening Day bullpen. In doing so, the Cards have all but determined the seven relievers who will open the season with St. Louis. Viera a constant inspiration for Cardinals Josiah Viera was an honorary coach with Class A State College last year, and he recently visited the Cardinals at big league camp. Viera has Hutchinson/Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that prematurely ages children. Cardinals name Martinez fifth starter St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny informed righty Carlos Martinez on Monday that he will open the season as the team's fifth starter. Challenge for Choate is getting in work vs. lefties Knowing they'll be deploying reliever Randy Choate primarily against left-handed batters this season, the Cardinals are about to get creative so that he can face a flurry of them to finish spring. Gonzales' landing spot now out of his hands With Sunday marking his final appearance of the Grapefruit League season, left-hander Marco Gonzales is now left to wait and see how the Cardinals' pitching plans come together and where he falls in that mix. Cards trim roster, send 4 to Minors The Cardinals whittled down their list of bench candidates by cutting four position players from Major League camp following Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Mets. Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals Gonzales was a late rotation replacement for the Cardinals, who had planned to start Jaime Garcia until learning that Garcia was dealing with some soreness and fatigue in his left arm. Cardinals weigh Opening Day roster flexibility Seven days out from their Opening Night matchup against the Cubs, the Cardinals continue to weigh the various ways in which they could construct their roster because of the flexibility offered by a high concentration of early-season off-days. Arm fatigue to keep Garcia off Opening Day roster Jaime Garcia, speaking a day after the club announced he'd be scratched from his next scheduled spring start, said he has been feeling left arm soreness and fatigue over the last few days, including during a side session on Thursday. When the discomfort didn't subside, Garcia alerted the Cardinals' medical staff. Lynn battles elements in second spring start Despite needing 40-plus pitches to navigate through his first two innings, Lance Lynn looked sharp against a fairly formidable Tigers lineup in his second start of the spring and ended up finishing five innings with a pitch count of 81. Freeman trade starts to bring clarity to Cards' bullpen His roster status complicated by being an out-of-options player, lefty Sam Freeman, a 32nd-round draftee of the Cardinals in 2008, was traded to the Rangers on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Cardinals HOF candidacy brings back fond memories for Morris This is the fourth in a series of stories profiling the eight modern candidates on the Cardinals' 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. Solid Lynn holds Tigers' lineup in check Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed six hits over five innings but walked none against five strikeouts. Lackey virtually ready for season after gem After using his first two spring starts to focus on specific pitches, John Lackey met with catcher Yadier Molina on Friday morning, asking him to call the game as he would in the regular season. What followed was a seven-inning performance from Lackey that the Cardinals would certainly take in such a setting. Regardless of role, Martinez pleased with progress If Friday was indeed the final chance for Carlos Martinez to make his case to the Cardinals that he should earn the final spot in their rotation, the right-hander went out with a flourish, closing with what he considered his best outing of the spring. Ortega finds power stroke in breakout for Cards Outfielder Rafael Ortega went 2-for-22 in Grapefruit League play before the Cardinals sent him out to Minor League camp as part of their most recent wave of cuts on Monday. He returned on Friday and made the impression that he probably wished he could have made sooner. Ortega's homers back Lackey's seven strong Starters Matt Harvey and John Lackey each looked sharp in their penultimate starts of Grapefruit League play on Friday, though it was the Cardinals who came away with a 5-4 split-squad victory. Martinez cuts ERA in latest bid for Cards' rotation Right-hander Carlos Martinez made his case in the competition for the final spot in the Cardinals' rotation during Friday's 1-1 tie with the Nationals. Martinez allowed one run on five hits in five innings while striking out six and walking two. Bell has right DNA to thrive as Cards' bench coach With manager Mike Matheny accompanying half the club to Viera, Fla., for the road portion of Friday's split-squad day, bench coach David Bell slid into the manager's seat for the home game against the Mets. Given his own coaching climb and bloodlines, it's an undertaking that suited Bell well. Much-anticipated power arrives for Heyward Hours after his manager laughed off concern about Jason Heyward not yet having registered an extra-base hit this spring, the right fielder blasted his first -- all the way onto the porch of the team complex beyond the right-field wall. Indoor session proves more productive for Wainwright Adam Wainwright had very specific goals going into his penultimate start of the spring on Thursday. And he left the complex confident he had accomplished them -- even if it had happened mostly outside the public eye. Heyward ends drought, while Waino a bit shaky Giancarlo Stanton blasted a home run and tacked on an RBI double on Thursday as the Marlins edged the Cardinals, 5-3, at Roger Dean Stadium. The Miami slugger connected for the second time this spring, unloading a mammoth drive off Adam Wainwright in the first inning. Regional Daily News 2015-04-01T03:10:38Z