Wong sees positives despite down spring

Cardinals second baseman focused on getting swing ready for Opening Day

Wong sees positives despite down spring

JUPITER, Fla. -- In one of his better games of the spring, second baseman Kolten Wong drew two walks and scored a run in the Cardinals' 6-2 win against the Nationals on Monday. The fact that such a performance is notable is indicative of the tough time Wong has had in Grapefruit League play.

With three spring games remaining, Wong is 5-for-36 with two doubles. He opened the spring season hitless in his first nine at-bats, similar to the slow start (0-for-10) he endured a year ago. This year, though, Wong said he is much more focused on the process than the lack of results.

"If I was at this point last year where I wasn't getting hits, I would be panicking," Wong said. "But this year, I kind of take the positives out of everything. I see that I have been hitting balls hard. I'm doing the little things right and getting myself ready. That's the most important thing -- making sure I get my swing ready for Opening Day."

Other news and notes from the day:

• Outfielder Tommy Pham (left quad strain) had three plate appearances in a Minor League game in what was his first game action since March 12. He said afterward that his quad is "still tight" and "not right." Pham did not play the outfield and is unsure when he will given how slowly he's progressing.

Randy Choate also spent time on the backfields so that the Cardinals could get him guaranteed work against left-handed batters. He faced five in Monday's outing.

• Left-hander Jaime Garcia (left shoulder inflammation) has been placed on the 15-day disabled, backdated to March 27. He is expected to undergo additional medical testing during a re-evaluation on Tuesday, at which time the Cardinals hope to have a better feel for how long Garcia may be sidelined.

Garcia, Matheny on setback

• In order to get Carlos Martinez a start on Wednesday, the Cardinals will have right-hander John Lackey get his work pitching in a Minor League game that same day. Lackey, who has ended previous springs with a similar exercise, will be able to appropriately build up his pitch count in that setting.

• The Cardinals expect to carry 31 of the 33 players left in Major League camp with them to Memphis on Friday for an exhibition game against the Triple-A team. The two exceptions -- Pham and Garcia -- will remain in Florida for extended spring camp. Obviously, the Cardinals will not have room for all 31 of those players on their Opening Day roster, and manager Mike Matheny intends to tell those earmarked for Triple-A of that assignment before departing Florida. Those players will then just remain in Memphis.

• Matheny said that Dean Anna, one of four position players cut from big league camp after Sunday's game, will likely get work at shortstop, second base and third base with Memphis. Anna is one of the few players in the upper levels of the Cardinals' farm system who can play short.

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