Saturday Spring Training tidbits: clearing out the notebook

After three days off and no blogging yesterday, I have a lot of tidbits for you. It’s a gorgeous, pretty much perfect day in northern Palm Beach county. We’ll see the mid-to-high 70s, some wind but not much, almost no clouds, just spectacular. Wish you were here.

* Felipe Lopez is in right field today. TLR said early in the spring that he’d like to see Lopez in center before spring is out, but that looks less likely now.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see. I want to make sure that right field goes all right first. Baby steps.”
* La Russa said Joe Mather looks good to him despite Mather’s 3-for-24 slump. It’s going to be hard to keep Mather off the roster because of his power and versatility (especially his ability to play center field), but he’d certainly help himself if he started hitting.
The manager on Mather: “I think he’s doing all the other stuff good, and hitting-wise, he’s a little… he could be more consistent. Mark [McGwire] thinks he’s really close. He’s done a lot of good work and he’s close. He just has to go from close to there.”
La Russa said he has no concerns about Mather’s health.
* If Adam Ottavino is sent to the Minor Leagues — and right now it looks as though he will be — he will start rather than relieve. That keeps all options open. If Ottavino is starting in Memphis, he could still come up and pitch in relief for the Major League club. But if he’s relieving in Memphis, he wouldn’t be available as the “sixth starter.” And right now, it looks like he is in fact the organization’s sixth starter once Kyle McClellan moves to relief.
* Despite the fact that most of the starting pitchers are facing the same opponent in each of their last two spring starts, the club will not adjust its rotation this week. It would be possible to move most of the starters by a day, so they see different teams, and not affect their availability next week. That’s because every starter will get at least one extra day between his final spring start and first of the regular season. But as of now, the plan is still to keep them all on turn, rather than re-jiggering anything this week.
* I’ve been asked this a few times, so here’s your answer: Nick Stavinoha is not making the team as a catcher. He won’t be the second catcher. He’s not going to do any catching down here before spring is out. If he is on the roster, he would be the emergency third catcher, but TLR said that even that doesn’t do anything more for his chances than it did before Molina was hurt.
* The Cardinals will likely take about 28-29 players to Minnesota at the end of the week. TLR said that he’d like to have 16 position players on the trip. However, the extra bodies will likely be players who already know their standing, rather than guys waiting to find out whether they make the team — players like Donovan Solano and Daniel Descalso, who have had good springs but aren’t making the team.
Today’s playlist:
Blakroc, “Hard Times”
LCD Soundsystem, “Drunk Girls”
Editors, “In This Light And On This Evening”
Hot Chip, “I Feel Better”
Cold War Kids, “Audience”
-M.
Oh, and one final thing: GO BUTLER!

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