JUPITER, Fla. -- All three players in competition for the Cardinals' starting second-base job saw time in Monday's Grapefruit League opener. Only Tyler Greene, however, actually played second base.
Manager Mike Matheny has discarded any notion that Greene is the favorite to win everyday playing time, but Greene is still expected to get more spring work at the position than the other two. That imbalance is due to the fact that he has less experience at second than Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalso, both of whom will be versatile defenders if they don't end up with a starting job.
Schumaker led off and played five innings in right field on Monday; Descalso played third and batted eighth.
"I'm just coming down here ready to work, ready to show them that I improved last year and that I can build on what I did last year," said Descalso, who took the majority of his ground balls during workouts at second.
Of the 90 starts Descalso has made in the Majors, 70 have come at third.
Greene showed nice range corralling a ball to his right and then throwing out Hanley Ramirez at first early in Monday's loss to the Marlins. He doubled down the left-field line in his first at-bat. Matheny removed Greene from the game after six innings.
"It was great to get out there in a game and have some game situations at game speed," Greene said. "It was a good day today. I was able to get some ground balls, get some different types of ground balls. The more reps, the more innings over there, the more comfortable anybody would get."