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WHEELER: Notes From Jupiter: Furcal’s Elbow, Shelby’s Shoulder and Live BP

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Hello again from Roger Dean Stadium…

Yesterday Mike Matheny talked a bit about Rafael Furcal’s situation and said that he’s unlikely to be ready for Grapefruit League action early on but that he was expecting to have his shortstop ready come Opening Day. Furcal has been going easy on his throws down here so far as he continues to build strength as he recovers from a sprain suffered last September.

Today, through a report from Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch, there is word that Furcal also has a bone spur in his elbow. That can cause pain, obviously, and it can also limit range of motion as well. I’m not sure how that will impact his progress here in Jupiter but it can’t be good news. As I said yesterday, Ronny Cedeno has the physical tools to be a good big league shortstop but he’s been notably inconsistent as a big leaguer, both at the plate and in the field.

So we have that little bit of added intrigue in camp today…

Here is some of what Mike Matheny had to say this morning…

* Shelby Miller is not going to throw off the mound today. He’s dealing with some shoulder soreness/tightness and they want to back him off a bit. Matheny said they think this is a minor thing. Obviously if there’s an update or a change in Miller’s status I’ll make sure to let you know.

* Trevor Rosenthal will start Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener here at Roger Dean Stadium and Michael Wacha will follow Rosenthal in that game. For Wacha it will be his first time pitching in a big league setting. Matheny said they start lining things up using “reverse engineering” – they know who four of their starters are and based on when Opening Day falls they schedule backward so that, for example, Adam Wainwright will be on schedule for the opener. Rosenthal, Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller are the candidates for the final rotation spot, as we’ve discussed before.

* Matheny also touched on another subject you’ll hear more about tonight on Sports Open Line. Veteran players in Cardinals camp are expected to not only embrace the presence of younger players but to take on a teaching role as well, even guys that may eventually take your job from you. He said to create a winning environment you have to get rid of that insecurity and open yourself up as a player. Matheny also pointed out that engaging in the teaching makes the players doing that teaching that much better because it reinforces what is right for them as well. Very interesting stuff and you’ll hear more extensively on this subject from The Skipper in the 6:00 hour of Sports Open Line.

As for today’s activities, once again I’ll be tracking the work being done during infield drills and watching live BP. Jaime Garcia, Marc Rzepczynski, Randy Choate, Michael Wacha, Eduardo Sanchez, Barrett Browning and Victor Marte will be facing hitters down here today.

I’ll be posting more photos, and a note or two if anything is warrented, via Twitter (@KMOXWheeler) through the day’s workout as well. Obviously we’ll have more tonight on Sports Open Line from 6-9 PM – you’ll hear from Matt Carpenter, one of the key players in camp because of his work at second base –  and we’ll also have the Cardinals Hot Stove League Show from 7-8:30 PM in the lead up to the Blues game in Colorado. On the Hot Stove Show you’ll hear from Mike Shannon, John Rooney, Mike Matheny, John Mozeliak and from Cardinals players as well (Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina and Jon Jay are among the possibilities for tonight).

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