Beltran to make Cards' debut as DH Monday

Beltran to make Cards' debut as DH Monday

JUPITER, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran will make his Cardinals debut on Monday, though he won't be seen roaming around the outfield at Roger Dean Stadium.

Manager Mike Matheny confirmed that Beltran will serve as the club's designated hitter in Monday's Grapefruit League opener. It is customary for National League teams to utilize a designated hitter during these early games so that there is an opportunity for another position player to get game at-bats each day.

As the regular season gets nearer, NL pitchers will begin to hit.

Matheny wouldn't cite a direct correlation between some minor right shoulder soreness Beltran is dealing with and the decision to have him not play the field on Monday. However, it's no secret that Beltran is among the veteran players that the Cardinals are going to handle with care this spring.

"He claims that [his shoulder] feels pretty good," Matheny said. "Let's err on the side of caution. I know he's happy with where he is, so let's make him happier and let his body respond by just going slow."

Matt Holliday will serve as the club's designated hitter on Tuesday, when the Cardinals face the Mets in Port St. Lucie.