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Matheny confirms Wainwright as Opening Day starter

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Matheny confirms Wainwright as Opening Day starter play video for Matheny confirms Wainwright as Opening Day starter

JUPITER, Fla. -- Manager Mike Matheny said he wanted to avoid "any large announcement," but nevertheless let everyone in on the one piece of organizational planning that everyone already knew: Adam Wainwright will start for the club on Opening Day.

Matheny broached the topic as he talked about the reverse engineering that goes into determining when each starter will make his first Grapefruit League appearance. Wainwright plans to make five starts in March, and the Cardinals will order them so that he is set up for a season debut on March 31 in Cincinnati.

"We're trying to keep things on pace," Matheny said, "so that if things do play out that way throughout the spring that he's prepared to [start on Opening Day], has made enough starts and has had ample rest."

It was an anticlimactic revelation, for sure, as Wainwright was all along expected to be the first Cardinals pitcher to take the mound in 2014. The bona fide ace of the staff and a 19-game winner in 2013, Wainwright is also the only starting pitcher thus far ensured a place in the rotation.

This will mark Wainwright's second straight Opening Day assignment. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 11 hits in a six-inning loss to the Diamondbacks last season.

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.

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