St. Louis Cardinals | Regional Daily News St. Louis Cardinals 2014-04-20T04:25:41Z St. Louis Cardinals Pitchers seeing early returns from hitting practice Shortly after gathering in Florida to begin preparations for the season, the Cardinals' starting pitchers gathered together and set an offensive objective. Displeased with their results at the plate last season, the group wanted to improve with the bat and, even if the hits didn't fall, extend at-bats to make themselves a tougher out. Holliday's day off his first of season In an effort to continue to rest his starting position players while the Cardinals trudge through a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, Manager Mike Matheny sat outfielder Matt Holliday on Sunday. Holliday had been the Cards' only position player to start each of the team's first 18 games. Lyons tabbed to fill Kelly's spot in rotation The Cardinals made official on Sunday the roster move most had been anticipating since starter Joe Kelly went on the disabled list Thursday with a left hamstring strain. It will be lefty Tyler Lyons, manager Mike Matheny confirmed, who will take Kelly's spot in the rotation and start Monday against the Mets. Lynn, Cruz battery powers Cards to victory Lance Lynn allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings and combined with battery mate Tony Cruz to drive in three runs, as the Cardinals beat the Nationals, 4-3, on Saturday at Nationals Park. Cards coy about upcoming pitching plans The Cardinals have settled on a starter for Monday's series opener against the Mets, but manager Mike Matheny said on Saturday that the team is not yet ready to announce its choice. Cards pair Cruz with Lynn in battery Having helped navigate Lance Lynn through seven scoreless innings in his start on Monday, Tony Cruz returned as Lynn's batterymate in Saturday's outing against the Nationals. Garcia, Motte have good rehab outings Jaime Garcia threw two scoreless innings and Jason Motte one during an extended spring training game on Saturday. Both players have remained in Jupiter, Fla., after Spring Training to continue their respective rehab programs. Cardinals still adjusting to transfer rules On Thursday night, the Cardinals were the beneficiary of Major League Baseball's now stricter enforcement of its transfer rule, requiring that players keep a ball secured while transferring it from the glove to the bare hand. Matheny talks leadership at U.S. Department of State Manager Mike Matheny accepted an invitation to speak to the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State on Friday as part of its speaker series to promote the development and practice of leadership. Shaky defense foils Wacha's strong outing A missed catch by Matt Carpenter and an errant throw by Yadier Molina following a wild pitch compounded a costly seventh inning and helped the Nats to a pair of unearned runs against Michael Wacha. That's all Washington would need to even the series with a 3-1 win in front of 31,237 at Nationals Park on Friday night. Edmonds proud to be considered for Cards' Hall When Jim Edmonds was traded from his hometown team, the Los Angeles Angels, before the 2000 season, he was disappointed. Little did he know that his destination, St. Louis, was where he'd make his home in retirement, where his children would grow up and where he would play some of the best seasons of his Major League career. Martinez isn't rotation option in Kelly's absence Though the Cardinals are unsure just how long a recovery is ahead for Joe Kelly, who sustained a left hamstring strain on Wednesday and is on the 15-day disabled list, the organization will have to find another fifth starter for at least the next two times through the rotation. Rookies Fornataro, Rondon added to bullpen The strain placed on the Cardinals' bullpen after Joe Kelly's early exit on Wednesday prompted the club to add relievers Eric Fornataro and Jorge Rondon prior to Thursday's series opener against the Nationals. Waino stymies Nationals with two-hit shutout Adam Wainwright went the distance for the first time this season in firing a two-hitter with eight strikeouts to lead the Cardinals in an 8-0 win over the Nationals on Thursday night. Kelly goes on disabled list with strained hamstring The Cardinals placed right-hander Joe Kelly, who has a strained left hamstring, on the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-handed reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis. The team also announced plans to recall rookie right-handers Eric Fornataro and Jorge Rondon from Memphis in time for Thursday's series opener against the Nationals in Washington. Cards lose Kelly to injury, then fall to Crew Joe Kelly exited in the fifth with hamstring tightness, and the Brewers took full advantage. After slow start, Peralta in serious groove Perhaps sparked by manager Mike Matheny's decision to remove him from the lineup on Saturday, Jhonny Peralta has since begun to prove himself the offensive upgrade the Cardinals sought during their shortstop search last offseason. Garcia, Motte continue to make progress Down at the Cardinals' spring complex in Jupiter, Fla., pitchers Jason Motte and Jaime Garcia continue to make progress in their individual throwing programs. Matheny 'surprised' he hasn't used challenge Fourteen games into the season, manager Mike Matheny admitted to being "extremely surprised" that he has yet to deploy a challenge in this new era of expanded instant replay across Major League Baseball. Humble McGee worthy of spot in Cardinals Hall of Fame A two-time National League batting champion and 1985 NL MVP Award winner, Willie McGee was leading the pack with 33.29 percent of the fan vote in the first released results for the Cardinals Hall of Fame balloting. Matheny math begets confidence in Cardinals For two nights against the Brewers, the lineup choices Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made were absolutely correct, even if the evidence at hand in one case was not what one would call extensive. Cards wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day For the sixth consecutive year, players and uniformed personnel for every Major League team playing on Tuesday swapped their chosen numbers to wear the one once donned by the man who broke baseball's color barrier. For one night, everyone was No. 42. Kozma's progress apparent but future unclear Though manager Mike Matheny was effusive with his praise of how Pete Kozma had improved and how professionally he handled two weeks of limited playing time while keeping Mark Ellis' roster spot warm, the 26-year-old shortstop heads to Triple-A with an uncertain future within the Cardinals' organization. Shelby makes himself at home at Miller Park Shelby Miller found his footing, Allen Craig showed continued signs of rediscovering his swing, and Mark Ellis got himself back onto the field as the Cardinals beat the Brewers, 6-1, on Tuesday night. Cards recall Ellis as veteran bench presence Following a Triple-A rehab assignment, Mark Ellis found himself thrust into the Cardinals' lineup on Tuesday night. Moving forward, however, he will find himself adapting to a part-time role that he has never before held. Upstart Brewers meet Cardinals at the top It may be that the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers are considerably better than many people thought. But the Brewers' problem is that the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals could be every bit as good as many people thought. Brewers hit wall vs. Lynn as Cards hit over it The Cardinals ended the Brewers' winning streak at nine games on Monday night, sending Milwaukee to a 4-0 loss behind two home runs and Lance Lynn's best start to date in 2014. Cruz gets break from rest to fill in for Molina Tony Cruz's role -- to back up the catcher with the most starts since 2005 -- is largely a thankless one. The Cardinals, in essence, hope he sees minimal time on the field, as that's an indication of starter Yadier Molina's status. Robinson's legacy important to Cardinals The Cardinals will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day in Milwaukee on Tuesday. The significance of the day is not lost on the team's players. Regional Daily News 2014-04-20T21:25:41Z