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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.
Just as the Cardinals began to allow themselves to get excited about what a healthy Jaime Garcia could add to their rotation, the lefty suffered another medical setback that will almost certainly preclude him from making the Opening Day roster.
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.
This is the fourth in a series of stories profiling the eight modern candidates on the Cardinals' 2015 Hall of Fame ballot.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed six hits over five innings but walked none against five strikeouts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As left fielder Matt Holliday prepares for his sixth full season with the Cardinals, he's seeking to fend off the often decreasing production that comes with increasing age.
Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Shannon, who has been watching the club throughout Spring Training, shared his thoughts on what he has seen over the past month and provided his take on what to expect in the year ahead.
Michael Wacha, like most players, doesn't concern himself much with Spring Training statistics. That is, except for one. "One I look at," he admitted, "is walks." Wacha has to like what he's seeing these days from that stat line
Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha and Nationals Opening Day starter Max Scherzer were engaged in a terrific pitchers' duel to start Wednesday's matchup at Roger Dean Stadium, before the Cards broke through in the eighth inning for a 1-0 victory.
Inspired by a drill that he saw at a University of Miami football practice, Jon Jay prepared for this season with the assistance of a tennis-ball machine. He wasn't the only Cardinals player to employ the unique resource, either.
Manager Mike Matheny may not be ready to commit to a regular-season batting order, but the one he utilized for Wednesday's game against Washington offered a sneak peek at what it could be.
A left quad strain that Tommy Pham had hoped would sideline him for only a few days has seemingly derailed his chances at winning a bench spot on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster.
Tough decisions are good decisions. Tough decisions mean that the players didn't settle things for you by blowing out their elbows or striking out every trip to the plate or injuring themselves sneezing. Tough decisions mean all those things you liked about these guys on paper are here now, in real life, and it's your job to decide what to do with them. If things continue as is, the Cardinals are going to have an awfully tough decision to make at the back of their rotation.
With an 80-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, Jaime Garcia passed another necessary endurance test while pushing the Cardinals closer to having to make a decision about his season-opening status.
This is the third in a series of stories profiling the eight modern candidates on the Cardinals' 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. Joe Torre and Major League Baseball have often been one and the same.
Before the opening of Grapefruit League play, there were seven big questions the Cardinals needed to answer during the 28-game spring slate. Nearly three weeks in, the club has already crossed some of those off the list. Others still require clarity. With the Cardinals enjoying their final off-day of Spring Training before the push to Opening Day, it seems appropriate to revisit those seven questions.
Without the benefit of drafting near the top of the first round for years, the Cardinals have been annual playoff participants for the past four seasons, making it at least to the National League Championship Series each time with typically the most homegrown roster of all the playoff teams.
Lance Lynn threw four scoreless innings before Monday's matchup was rained out, holding the Red Sox to one hit in his first action since leaving his March 8 spring debut with a left hip flexor strain.
The Cardinals gave slugging corner infielder Mark Reynolds a start in left field on Monday, hoping added versatility will help them get his powerful right-handed bat in the lineup more often.
The Cardinals scored two runs against Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello in the top of the fifth to break a scoreless tie. With Boston trailing, 2-0, and set to bat in the bottom of the fifth, the game went into a 55-minute rain delay before it was called due to unplayable field conditions.
Following four years, eight months and eight days as an active officer, and another two trying to rediscover himself in the Minors, Lieutenant Mitchell Andrew Harris finds himself on the cusp of becoming the first graduate of the Naval Academy in 94 years -- and only the second ever -- to appear in a Major League Baseball game.


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