Cards comfortable with fluidity for 1B/SS roles

Matheny not making permanent decision with multiple viable options at both positions

Cards comfortable with fluidity for 1B/SS roles

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals plan to unofficially set their Opening Day roster before boarding a flight to Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon. But determining personnel won't necessarily clarify roles.

A team that entered spring with seemingly few questions will exit it without a set first baseman or shortstop after circumstances altered the look at both positions. Matt Holliday nudged his way into the mix at first, where Brandon Moss and Matt Adams had been expected to split time.

2016 season: Schedule | Tickets | Promotions

On the other side of the infield, the Cardinals will count on Ruben Tejada and Jedd Gyorko to fill a hole created by Jhonny Peralta's thumb injury. The Cardinals haven't publically committed more playing time to one or the other, preferring instead to rotate starts between the two since Tejada signed.

Tejada's first out

Neither has necessarily stood out, though neither has flopped, either.

"I think Gyorko has caught the ball really well," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I think he has impressed us with what he's been able to do there. He looks comfortable. Ruben has looked real good, too. He's making all the plays, and then some, and also taken some really good at-bats. It's kind of as we hoped for that we have a couple good options."

Over at first base, the situation is even more crowded. Holliday, who started at the position again on Tuesday, will get time there. Just how often remains unclear. With Moss and Holliday also available as outfield options, the Cards are likely to do much mixing and matching at first -- and they're content with that.

"As long as we're getting production out of first, I'm not really worried about face and name," general manager John Mozeliak said. "It's really about us generating runs. Obviously when you think about roster building, first base is a critical place for us."

Worth noting:

• Tuesday's game between the Cardinals and Marlins was called in the top of the fourth due to lightning and other inclement weather in the area. The cancellation precluded the Cardinals from utilizing any of their relievers in the game, though Jonathan Broxton did throw a simulated inning in the batting cage during the storm to get his work in.

Yadier Molina returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing the previous day's game due to a bruised right toe. He had to pass a series of morning medical tests to gain clearance.

Jordan Walden responded well after his one-inning appearance on Monday and is scheduled to return to the mound in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Marlins. If all goes well for Walden on Wednesday, he is expected to open the season on the Opening Day roster. He recently had a week-long layoff due to tightness around his right shoulder.

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