La Russa ensuring bench players stay fresh

La Russa ensuring bench players stay fresh

MILWAUKEE -- Few managers use their full roster over the course of the regular season like the Cardinals' Tony La Russa. He's a fervent believer that for at least the first four months of the year, it's vital to keep all 25 players involved.

Come October, however, the imperative is to play the best players every day. It gets more difficult for those bench players to stay sharp when they're not even averaging one at-bat per day. However, La Russa said Sunday that it's not a major concern, noting that several of his bench players have gotten starts at some point in October.

"They're not getting the four at-bats that would help them be a better pinch-hitter," La Russa said, "[but Allen] Craig and [Daniel] Descalso have started recently. [Ryan] Theriot has started. There is the stuff you do throughout the season to use the roster and there's stuff at the end where your best shot is your best shot and the other guys complement."

La Russa said that if the Cardinals were to advance to the World Series, they likely would have some kind of simulated game on Tuesday's workout day in order to allow the bench players something closer to live pitching.