Lack of variety spells trouble for Lyons vs. Red Sox

Lefty allows two runs in the seventh; Garcia to start again on Thursday

Lack of variety spells trouble for Lyons vs. Red Sox

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though not necessarily in the race for an Opening Day rotation spot, lefty Tyler Lyons remains a part of the starting depth the Cardinals often cite when asked about contingency plans. Lyons has made spot starts for the club each of the past two seasons and will likely be waiting in Triple-A again for such a call.

But big innings have often done him in, and he endured another such frame in relief on Monday when the Red Sox knocked him around for four hits and two runs in the seventh. The trouble began with a leadoff walk.

Afterward, manager Mike Matheny noted that he would have liked to have seen more variety in Lyons' pitch selection. Lyons opened the inning with a string of fastballs.

"This is a kid who has a plus slider and a plus curveball and a pretty good changeup," Matheny said. "There's nothing wrong with using everything he's got. When you start throwing that many fastballs and are searching for the plate, you're going to have some balls hit hard."

Here are additional notes:

Jaime Garcia, who is trying to position himself for rotation consideration, will make at least one more Grapefruit League start. That outing will come on Thursday against the Orioles. Garcia threw 41 pitches in a 1 1/3-inning start against the Nationals on Saturday and allowed one run on three hits and one walk.

Garcia on building strength

• First baseman Matt Adams tallied his third hit of the spring but his first against a left-hander when he drove a Wade Miley pitch to the right-field wall for a first-inning double. Improving his results against left-handed pitching was once again a winter focus for Adams, whose playing time could depend on it.

"We know he can hit lefties. He knows he can hit lefties," Matheny said. "He's going to have to keep working and showing when he gets opportunities like that. Great at-bat."

• The Cardinals announced that they have re-signed all of the players on their 40-man roster with zero-to-three years of Major League service time. This process is a formality each spring, but it does mean that everyone on that roster is now under contract.

• Tony Clark, head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, visited Cardinals camp to hold the annual MLBPA meeting. Clark will visit all 30 camps before the spring is over.

"The good thing about these meetings is that it gives us an opportunity to give guys an update on the latest and greatest, as much a State of the Union conversation," Clark said. "Each of these meetings has been tremendous. The guys and their engagement, their willingness to offer their input and thoughts on any one particular issue has been fantastic. This group is no different. The participation and commentary has really been refreshing."

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