Yadi won't negotiate new contract past OD

Catcher reinvigorated by Classic, 'not afraid to go to free agency'

Yadi won't negotiate new contract past OD

JUPITER, Fla. -- Rejuvenated by Puerto Rico's run to the championship game of the World Baseball Classic, Yadier Molina returned to camp confident that he has many more years to give behind the plate and is ready to determine whether those will come as a St. Louis Cardinal.

Molina put the Cardinals on the clock, stressing that he is open to entering free agency if he and the club cannot reach an agreement on a contract extension before the team's April 2 opener.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lynn exits as precaution; Gant hurts groin

Lynn exits as precaution; Gant hurts groin

JUPITER, Fla. -- In his first game back from helping the United States to its first World Baseball Classic championship, Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich doubled to lead off the fourth inning and scored the only run of the game in Miami's 1-0 win over the Cardinals on Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Yelich scored when Derek Dietrich's fly ball down the left-field line was lost in the sun and dropped in for a double.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals are confident injuries not serious

Gant, Lynn and Peralta all leave game against the Marlins

Cardinals are confident injuries not serious

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though the Cardinals' training staff was summoned to evaluate three players during Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Marlins, the club is confident it survived the day without any serious injury.

Starter Lance Lynn was pulled after one inning (10 pitches) due to a pinch in his upper back. The discomfort was alleviated with a quick chiropractic adjustment, but manager Mike Matheny opted to still end Lynn's outing early.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards finalize Opening Day roster

Martinez, Socolovich, Fryer, Garcia set; Pham sent down

Cards finalize Opening Day roster

JUPITER, Fla. -- With competitions ended and impressions made, the Cardinals have finalized the 25-man roster they'll feature, barring injury, when they open the season against the Cubs on April 2.

Manager Mike Matheny spent part of Saturday morning delivering news to players. For some, congratulations were in order. Outfielder Jose Martinez and Miguel Socolovich learned they would make an Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers. Reliever Matt Bowman, infielder Greg Garcia and catcher Eric Fryer were also assured big league roster spots.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wong may end up in platoon at second base

Second baseman has struggled; Cards have plenty of infield options

Wong may end up in platoon at second base

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals spent the winter reaffirming their commitment to Kolten Wong, whose skill set lined up with the team's stated goals of increasing athleticism and improving the defense.

But as spring winds down, Wong is still trying to heat up. And manager Mike Matheny did not rule out the possibility that the season opens with Wong as part of a second-base platoon.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fowler triples as Wacha, Cards top Nats

Fowler triples as Wacha, Cards top Nats

 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Nationals still have not decided on an Opening Day closer, but they have been giving Koda Glover serious consideration. They wanted to be sure he faced strong competition in the spring, so manager Dusty Baker ran the right-hander out in the top of sixth inning Friday afternoon against the Cardinals. But St. Louis hit Glover hard, and aided by a few defensive mishaps, defeated the Nationals' split-squad, 3-1, at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Dexter Fowler tripled home a run and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning, and Greg Garcia singled home a run off Glover in the seventh. Glover allowed a spring-high three runs in 1 2/3 innings with only one strikeout.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matheny indicates Peralta will get 3B nod

Gyorko free to again serve as utility infielder with hot corner squared away

Matheny indicates Peralta will get 3B nod

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Though manager Mike Matheny prefers not to speak in absolutes, he indicated on Friday that Jhonny Peralta will open the season as the Cardinals' starting third baseman, leaving Jedd Gyorko to serve as a utility infielder.

"He's looked as good as we had hoped," Matheny said of Peralta. "[I am] really happy with where Jhonny is right now. I like how he's swinging the bat. I like how he's playing third. He's done what he's needed to do this spring at third base."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matheny views Adams as legit LF option

Longtime first baseman makes uneventful first career start in left field

Matheny views Adams as legit LF option

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Though winds were swirling around the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Matt Adams enjoyed an uneventful day while making his first career start in left field.

The Cardinals are continuing their experimental usage of Adams in the outfield, though in two games as a left fielder, he hasn't had a fly ball hit his way. Adams cleanly fielded two singles to left in Friday's 3-1 win, and he was able to glove a few fly balls while playing in a Minor League game on Thursday.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wainwright bounces back with 'conviction'

Starter yields three runs (one earned) vs. Marlins

Wainwright bounces back with 'conviction'

JUPITER, Fla. -- The results were bound to get better, and they did for Adam Wainwright, who shook off a beating against the Mets last Friday with a much more controlled performance on Thursday.

It wasn't completely crisp, as the Marlins did tag Wainwright for five hits and three runs (one earned) over four innings. He threw 71 pitches (47 strikes) before retreating to the bullpen to build up his pitch count. The Cardinals went on to win, 5-3.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

D will be key for Cards to return to postseason

Addition of Fowler in CF, greater lineup stability should pay dividends

D will be key for Cards to return to postseason

JUPITER, Fla. -- In just the past two seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals went from being one of baseball's best defensive teams to one of its worst. Not coincidentally, a five-year run of postseason baseball ended in 2016.

And that's the story of their Spring Training. Back to basics. Back to the Cardinal Way.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Socolovich focused on fine-tuning fastball

Reliever a frontrunner for Cards' final bullpen spot

Socolovich focused on fine-tuning fastball

JUPITER, Fla. -- Miguel Socolovich has the lowest ERA and stingiest batting average against of any Cardinals reliever (minimum 18 innings) from 2015-16, and yet he is heading into the final week of Spring Training unsure whether he'll even be in the organization next month.

Socolovich appears a frontrunner for the Cardinals' final bullpen spot, though nothing is assured. The Cardinals have 17 pitchers remaining in big league camp, and manager Mike Matheny hasn't officially settled on an Opening Day roster that features seven relievers.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards flaunt speed, steal six bags in win

Cards flaunt speed, steal six bags in win

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals added late runs with heads-up baserunning to break a tie and defeat the Marlins, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.

St. Louis' Harrison Bader singled and stole second in the sixth inning against Miami pitcher Edinson Volquez, making his first appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic. Patrick Wisdom brought in Bader with a single.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

OD pregame ceremony to air on FOX Midwest

Former Cy Young Award winner Carpenter serving as camp guest instructor

OD pregame ceremony to air on FOX Midwest

JUPITER, Fla. -- Before the Cardinals' season opener is televised nationally on ESPN, fans can tune into FOX Sports Midwest to view the team's Opening Day pregame ceremony.

The telecast will start at 6:30 p.m. CT on April 2 and run for an hour. It will include the Budweiser Clydesdales' parade around Busch Stadium, the introduction of the Cardinals' Hall of Famers and the presentation of the 2017 team. Dan McLaughlin and Rick Horton will host the pregame ceremony coverage from Ballpark Village. Jim Hayes will provide reports from inside the ballpark.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi among All-Classic Team standouts

Along with Hosmer, pair selected unanimously to field of 12 honorees

Yadi among All-Classic Team standouts

Following a thrilling World Baseball Classic that culminated in the United States winning its first title thanks to Wednesday's 8-0 win over Puerto Rico, World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) announced the All-World Baseball Classic Team.

From the champions, tournament Most Valuable Player Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays (2.35 ERA, six-plus scoreless innings in final), Eric Hosmer of the Royals (unanimous choice) and Christian Yelich of the Marlins were selected. Stroman, as WBC 2017 MVP, joined Japan's Daisuke Matsuzaka ('06 and '09) and the Dominican Republic's Robinson Cano ('13) as MVPs in Classic history.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals tab Martinez to start on Opening Night

Cardinals tab Martinez to start on Opening Night

JUPITER, Fla. -- Any lingering suspense about who would get to throw the first pitch against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs faded on Wednesday, when manager Mike Matheny pulled Carlos Martinez into his office before the team took the field and delivered a message in Spanish.

Martinez emerged from the room as the team's Opening Night starter.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Waino: Martinez starting opener 'easy decision'

Cardinals veteran hopes strong bounceback season will put him in conversation next year

Waino: Martinez starting opener 'easy decision'

JUPITER, Fla. -- Insisting that he wouldn't "want anything I haven't earned," Adam Wainwright graciously congratulated Carlos Martinez on being named the team's Opening Night starter, a title that had belonged to Wainwright for the past four seasons. Martinez pitched five shutout innings Wednesday in the Cardinals' 6-1 win over the Nationals, his first start since returning from the World Baseball Classic.

"I think he earned it with the way he pitched last year, and the year before that," Wainwright said. "Vice versa, the way I pitched last year, I didn't earn that. I thought it was well-deserved."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia's big bat backs Martinez's 5 scoreless

Garcia's big bat backs Martinez's 5 scoreless

JUPITER, Fla. -- Max Scherzer finished 4 2/3 innings in his Grapefruit League debut, but Cardinals infielder Greg Garcia stole the spotlight to help St. Louis to a 6-1 victory over Washington at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday.

Garcia, who legged out an inside-the-park home run in the team's last game, tallied three more extra-base hits, including a pair off Scherzer. His first-inning triple positioned him to score on a Matt Carpenter sacrifice fly, and he drove in a run with an RBI double in the fifth.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For his son's birthday, Fowler's dad shares great throwback photo

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For his son's birthday, Fowler's dad shares great throwback photo

Dexter Fowler has developed something of a reputation for sharing adorable glimpses of his daughter on his social media pages, just as he did when showcasing how excited she was about him joining the Cardinals back in December. 

It would appear as if that penchant for sharing wonderful memories and moments on the internet spans generations. On Wednesday, Fowler celebrated his 31st birthday, and it was an occasion for his father -- going by "PapaJFowler'"on Twitter -- to share this as an homage to his son:

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Adams plays outfield for first time since Little League

Slugger searching for playing opportunities; Tuivailala optioned

Adams plays outfield for first time since Little League

JUPITER, Fla. -- After weeks of shagging fly balls to familiarize himself with the outfield, Matt Adams took the experiment into live action on Wednesday during the Cardinals' 6-1 victory over the Nationals.

After coming in as a pinch-hitter, Adams replaced Randal Grichuk in left field to begin the sixth. He played four innings there, but hardly got involved. After fielding a leadoff single, Adams didn't have another ball hit his way. It was his first time playing the outfield in any game since he was a Little Leaguer.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hudson among top prospect performers

Hudson among top prospect performers

J.D. Davis is heating up at the perfect time. As the season draws near, hits are coming in bunches for the Astros' No. 13 prospect.

The 23-year-old third baseman went 3-for-4, his first three-hit game of Spring Training, in Houston's 8-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards have high hopes for performance department

Cards have high hopes for performance department

JUPITER, Fla. -- A little more than a year ago, Dr. Robert Butler left his position as a clinical scientist and assistant professor at Duke University to accept the task of reshaping how the Cardinals organize their medical and strength/conditioning operations.

By bringing all of these areas under one umbrella, the Cardinals envisioned the potential for a competitive advantage. In the same way sabermetrics once changed the landscape of player evaluation, the Cards saw the creation of a performance department as baseball's potential next frontier.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards powerful as Martinez hits 4th spring HR

Cards powerful as Martinez hits 4th spring HR

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Alberto Rosario hit a go-ahead RBI single in a two-run seventh inning and Jose Martinez hit his fourth homer of the spring as the Cardinals rallied for a 12-6 win over the Astros on Monday night at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Martinez, who launched a two-run blast in the fourth inning, scored on Greg Garcia's inside-the-park homer in the eighth inning. Martinez and Garcia added RBI singles in a four-run ninth as they both finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Cardinals on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Leake battles control in road start vs. Astros

Leake battles control in road start vs. Astros

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Road warrior Mike Leake battled rare control problems in the Cardinals' 12-6 win against the Astros on Monday night. All five of Leake's starts this spring have been on the road, but he struggled at his home away from home.

Making his second start at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Leake gave up four runs on five hits and issued three walks over five innings. His previous outing here was much better, a 7-1 win over the Nationals, in which Leake threw four innings of one-hit ball. He struck out two without issuing a walk in that outing.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi keeps Netherlands on its toes in semis

Yadi keeps Netherlands on its toes in semis

LOS ANGELES -- Monday's World Baseball Classic bout between Puerto Rico and the Netherlands -- won by P.R., 4-3, in 11 innings -- didn't waste any time providing exciting action, and Yadier Molina was right in the middle of it.

The Netherlands learned firsthand why Molina is considered among the best defensive catchers in the game, as the Cardinals' star threw out two Netherlands baserunners in the first inning.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lucas among cuts as Cardinals' trim roster

Lucas among cuts as Cardinals' trim roster

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Right-hander Josh Lucas was among several players the Cardinals reassigned over the last two days, but according to manager Mike Matheny, Lucas' future appears bright.

Lucas was reassigned to Minor League camp along with lefty Zach Phillips on Sunday. In addition, right-hander Rowan Wick and outfielder Anthony Garcia were optioned to Triple-A Memphis.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adams' 4th HR backs Lynn's scoreless start

Adams' 4th HR backs Lynn's scoreless start

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Lance Lynn scattered four singles through five scoreless innings and Matt Adams hit his fourth homer and scored twice, leading the Cardinals to a 5-2 win over the Braves on Sunday at Champion Stadium.

Lynn struck out three, walked one and did not allow more than one hit in any inning or any Braves baserunner to reach third. He improved to 1-1 through four starts this spring, lowering his ERA to 1.29 over 14 innings.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rotation to feature Wacha to open season

Order is not yet decided; Cards righty has a 2.65 ERA over five spring starts

Rotation to feature Wacha to open season

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A decision that had been hinted at for weeks became official on Sunday when manager Mike Matheny confirmed that Michael Wacha will begin the season in the Cardinals' rotation.

Wacha will join Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Mike Leake in an all-righty rotation. The Cards have yet to reveal how they will order the five to begin the season, or who will start the team's season opener in two weeks.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.