Junior Spivey was, for all intents and purposes, given the keys to the Cardinals job at second base, but a lack luster performance has left Spivey in St. Louis as the team opens its season in Philadelphia on Monday. Spivey, who committed five errors and hit just .147 this spring, is having his sore shoulder examined.
Spivey signed a one-year deal for $1.2 million this off-season and was the obvious choice to earn the starting job. But his spring slump and Miles’ .361 performance at the plate changed that popular opinion. Infielder Hector Luna will also be on the Cardinals roster.
The Cardinals will open their season this afternoon with a 2:05 start in Philadelphia. The Cardinals will send reigning N.L. Cy Young Award winner, Chris Carpenter to the mound. He was 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 2005. The Phillies will counter with John Lieber who was 17-13 last season. Carpenter wasn’t the only award-winner on last year’s squad. Albert Pujols, who hit .330 with 41 home runs and 117 RBI’s, was named the National League MVP.
With the departure of second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and outfielder Reggie Sanders to the Royals and the retirement of outfielder Larry Walker, the Cardinals have three starting spots to fill. As mentioned, Miles will start at second, So Taguchi in left and Juan Encarnacion go in right.
The Phillies will feature the returning N.L. Rookie of the Year, Ryan Howard, who is a St. Louis native and Missouri St. alum.
Today’s game will also mark the full-time return of third baseman Scott Rolen, who was limited to just 56 games last season, after a collision with Dodgers first baseman Hee Seop Choi last may.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTERS
Chris Carpenter, P
Yadier Molina, C
Albert Pujols, 1B
Aaron Miles, 2B
Scott Rolen, 3B
David Eckstein, SS
So Taguchi, LF
Jim Edmonds, CF
Juan Encarnacion, RF