Matheny open to experimenting with lineup

Matheny open to experimenting with lineup

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Manager Mike Matheny has experimented with all sorts of batting orders this spring, and he said on Friday that may not change once the regular season opens.

It's an idea, Matheny said, that he hopes may be able to eliminate some of the streakiness that characterized the Cardinals' offense in 2012. While he'd ideally prefer to settle on a static lineup, if the group isn't collectively hitting, Matheny intends to mix things up.

"I believe we've covered everything work-wise," Matheny said, in speaking of the organization's attempt to pinpoint a factor behind the offense's ups and downs. "We've covered everything with the preparation and our scouting, all our advanced stuff. So what else can we do? How do you shorten those periods?

"Part of that is maybe putting different people who, at that particular time, may be able to help you more in different spots. These are some of the conversations that I've had with different guys. Not that it's pure panic, but where could you better fit right now? It might be a place you've been in before. It might be a spot that's a little bit different."

No one, Matheny added, will be immune from being moved, either. That includes Matt Holliday, who hit third in every one of his 154 starts in 2012.

One of the more fluid cases could be with Carlos Beltran, who hit fifth on Friday after batting second for most of Spring Training. Beltran started games at five different spots in the batting order last year. Most of those came from the cleanup spot (82 starts) and No. 2 hole (40 starts).

"I think we'll be better at that this year," Holliday said. "I don't think we'll be as inconsistent this year. I think that was just an anomaly. I think we have too many good hitters who know how to get on base even when they're not swinging the bats great."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.