JUPITER, Fla. -- Outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Yadier Molina will remain away from Cardinals camp for at least a few more days, as they depart for San Francisco and the championship round of the World Baseball Classic after Puerto Rico's game against the Dominican Republic on Saturday in Miami.
Matheny expressed mixed emotions about still not having two front-line starters in camp.
"We'll have to see what they look like when they get here," Matheny said. "I'm not going to shy away from the fact that I look forward to having our guys back and trying to get them on a schedule that leads us to Opening Day.
"I'm excited for the fact that the Classic helps the game of baseball. That's the business we're in, so we need to promote that. But it's hard not to be selfish, and on the selfish side, I'm concerned about our guys. I'm concerned about our team. So it's good to have Mitchell [Boggs] back.
"I'm as patriotic as the next guy. I always hope the best for the United States, but I'm pretty focused on what it takes for our individual players to be ready."
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.