Carpenter scratched due to back stiffness

Carpenter scratched due to back stiffness

JUPITER, Fla. -- Initially set to serve as the Cardinals' designated hitter on Thursday against the Braves, Matt Carpenter was scratched from the lineup due to lower back stiffness.

General manager John Mozeliak described the decision to pull Carpenter as "just precautionary." Carpenter will receive treatment around the area of discomfort, and will be re-evaluated by the club's medical staff on Friday.

Carpenter is scheduled to depart camp on Monday to join Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. If this back stiffness were to persist, it could jeopardize Carpenter's participation in the event.

Mozeliak said that he is "not overly concerned at this point," but acknowledged that the next few days will determine Carpenter's status for the Classic. This is the first time that Carpenter has been invited to participate in the 16-team tournament.

Carson Kelly replaced Carpenter as the DH for Thursday's game against Atlanta.

Other notes from the trainer's room:

Luke Weaver, who exited his appearance on Wednesday due to back spasms, checked out fine on Thursday. The Cardinals have not scheduled his next outing, but he's not expected to be sidelined for long.

Tyler Lyons remains ahead of schedule in his rehab from right knee surgery and is close to receiving clearance to throw in Grapefruit League games. The rapid recovery has positioned Lyons to make a push for an Opening Day roster spot.

"I think there's plenty of time," Mozeliak said. "I think we'll have to re-evaluate that over the next 7-10 days. The good news for him is that his arm is there."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for 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.