The St. Louis Cardinals will open their exhibition season on Thursday with a game against the New York Mets. Manager Tony LaRussa has announced that veteran right-hander Andy Benes will get the start against the Mets. Benes is fighting not just for a spot in the rotation, but also a spot on the roster. He is coming off a season in which he was pulled from the rotation and did not pitch at all after August 30th because of ineffectiveness. He finished the campaign with a 7.38 ERA.