Notes: Wilson returns to the lineup

Notes: Wilson returns to Cardinals lineup

JUPITER, Fla. -- Preston Wilson returned to the Cardinals lineup on Monday after sitting out for two games. Wilson was sidelined with mild tendinitis in his right biceps.

The veteran outfielder started as St. Louis' designated hitter, batting sixth. He is expected to DH again on Tuesday before he returns to playing the outfield. Wilson went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts but reported that he felt just fine afterwards.

Wilson, 32, was expected to be a busy man for St. Louis during the absence of starting outfielders Jim Edmonds and Juan Encarnacion. Both are being held out of games as they rehabilitate following offseason surgery.

Manager Tony La Russa said he considers Wilson a viable center field option while Edmonds is unavailable, though Wilson has played only right field and DH thus far in very early Grapefruit League action.

Wainwright cruises: Starter Adam Wainwright became the first Cards pitcher this spring to last four innings, making the most of his 45-pitch limit. Wainwright allowed two walks but still faced the minimum 12 batters on 43 pitches in Monday's 5-0 loss to the Astros.

He induced only three ground balls and received some help from his defense, but it's still hard to complain about four scoreless, hitless innings.

"I'm trying to be efficient," said Wainwright. "I'm trying to work my pitches, and I'm not there command-wise yet. But I'm trying, when I fall behind, to make good pitches and get a good downhill plane. I'm trying to be as efficient as I can while working on everything, so that's a positive."

Wainwright gave a major tip of the cap to Chris Duncan, who turned in two exceptional plays in left field in the first. Duncan made a sliding catch on an Adam Everett liner, then doubled Chris Burke off first base. He followed that with a rolling and tumbling catch on a Mike Lamb liner.

"When I was pitching, he was like Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime out there in left field for me," Wainwright said.

Kennedy could play Wednesday: Adam Kennedy remains unavailable and is not on the travel roster for Tuesday, but the second baseman has not had a setback in his recuperation from an oblique strain. Kennedy will take batting practice again at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday, and if that goes well, he will play on Wednesday against the Dodgers in Vero Beach.

As the Cardinals continue to deal with the absence of both Kennedy and starting shortstop David Eckstein, they're getting creative with middle infield options. Scott Spiezio, primarily a corner infielder and outfielder at this point, got the start at second base -- and as the leadoff man -- on Monday. He played extensively at second early in his career, but he's made just three regular-season starts there since the start of the 2000 season.

"You've got to think a little bit more," said Spiezio. "You've got to try to remember all the signs at each position. That's pretty tough early in the spring. But other than that, I feel pretty good."

Asked whether playing second felt more or less strange than leading off, Spiezio didn't hesitate.

"Less strange," he said. "I have led off before, but it hasn't been for a while."

First cuts: The Cardinals made their first round of cuts on Monday. Eight players were re-assigned to Minor League camp. Pitchers Chris Lambert, Mike Parisi, Mike Sillman and Mark Worrell were re-assigned to Minor League camp, as were catchers Bryan Anderson, Ryan Christianson, Michel Hernandez and Danilo Sanchez.

None of the players are on the 40-man roster. The plan had initially been to trim by nine, but the final player was not notified before leaving on Monday.

Only two non-roster pitchers remain in camp as of the end of the day Monday: Kelvin Jimenez and Mike Smith. Jimenez, who allowed a hit in one shutout inning on Monday, has drawn praise from La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan.

"He's got a nice breaking ball," Duncan said. "He's got a nice slider. Today it wasn't quite as good as it has been. He's a young guy too, so we'll just wait and see how he does."

Taguchi traveling: As the Daisuke Matsuzaka circus invades Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday, the Cardinals' own Japanese player won't be around. So Taguchi will be on the traveling roster to Fort Lauderdale. It's been estimated that a crush of more than 200 media members will descend upon RDS for Matsuzaka's Grapefruit League debut.

Broadcast info: Tuesday's game will be carried on KTRS, the Cardinals Radio Network and's Gameday Audio. The next scheduled TV game is Sunday's contest with the Braves at Roger Dean Stadium.

Quotable: "Based on what he's shown us in this camp over the years, there's no way to vote against him right yet." -- La Russa, on Edmonds' efforts to get in playing shape by Opening Day. Edmonds is coming back from offseason shoulder and foot surgery.

Weather report: It's shaping up to be a spectacular day on Tuesday. First-pitch temperature in Fort Lauderdale is expected to be 72 degrees, with no clouds and zero chance of precipitation.

Coming up: The Cardinals hit the road for the first time in five days on Tuesday. They'll face the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale. Chris Carpenter will start for St. Louis, with Steve Trachsel taking the hill for Baltimore. Pitching in relief of Carpenter will be Blake Hawksworth, Randy Flores, Dennis Dove and Josh Hancock. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CT.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.