Cards expect first lineup shakeup vs. lefty

Cards expect first lineup shakeup vs. lefty

Cards expect first lineup shakeup vs. lefty
MILWAUKEE -- A mere three games into his managerial tenure, Mike Matheny has already shown a consistency that Tony La Russa never did last season. Consistency with the lineup, that is.

With the starting pitcher the only exception, Matheny's lineup card has been identical in each of the team's first three games. La Russa, who was well known for his propensity to tinker with batting orders, never used the same one more than twice in a row last year.

In fact, the last time a Cardinals manager showed such consistency was from Aug. 9-14, 2010, when La Russa utilized the same lineup for five consecutive games. The pitcher hit eighth in each of those contests.

"Things just lined up that way," Matheny said, noting that the Cardinals opened the season by facing three of the league's better right-handed starters.

This current streak, though, will stop at three, as Matheny intends to insert some new faces into the lineup on Sunday, when the Cardinals face their first lefty starter of the season. One inclusion will be Tyler Greene, who is expected to get the start at second base.

Matheny confirmed that Greene would not be the only new insertion. Among the other changes being considered is shifting Carlos Beltran to center field. That would open up a spot in right field, presumably for right-handed-hitting Shane Robinson to fill. The Cardinals' other two reserve outfielders -- Erik Komatsu and Matt Carpenter -- both hit from the left side, as does Jon Jay.

"Any time we face a lefty, I think that's an option," Matheny said of the Beltran in center field scenario. "We're still going through numbers to make sure we feel good about that."