Matheny 'nowhere near' naming OD starter

Wainwright, Martinez likely candidates to take hill for April 2 opener

Matheny 'nowhere near' naming OD starter

JUPITER, Fla. -- Those wondering who will take the mound in the Cardinals' season opener will have to sit tight a while longer before receiving an answer.

Manager Mike Matheny said that he is "nowhere near making that statement or that decision" when asked about potential candidates on Monday. The Cardinals begin their season with an April 2 home game against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.

Most assume that the Opening Day nod will go to either Adam Wainwright or Carlos Martinez. Martinez is coming off the stronger season, but Wainwright has long been considered the leader of this Cardinals staff. Wainwright has made the team's last four Opening Day starts.

The Cardinals will have to settle on a preferred rotation order soon since that will dictate the starters' spring schedules.

Schafer switches it up

After working out with the pitchers for the first six days of Spring Training, Jordan Schafer meandered over to another field Monday morning to work alongside the team's outfielders.

The Cardinals are evaluating Schafer primarily as a pitcher, but are also intrigued by how he can help out in the outfield or on the bases. After six seasons as a big league outfielder, Schafer made the transition to the mound while in the Dodgers' organization a year ago.

Schafer's transition to pitching

The Cardinals will continue to prioritize pitching for Schafer, but on days where he's not scheduled to throw, like Monday, he'll also be assigned time with the position players. The Cardinals will limit the amount of throwing he does from the outfield so as not to overexert his arm.

"We just don't want anything that he's doing offensively to get in the way of what he needs to do on the pitching side," Matheny said. "As you all can tell, he's in fantastic shape. So I think physically he's going to be able to handle quite a bit."

Siegrist progressing

Kevin Siegrist, who delayed the start of his spring throwing program after feeling some left shoulder soreness last week, said he plans to throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday.

Siegrist has been playing catch on flat ground since Friday, and he said that his shoulder "continues to feel better every day." The Cardinals' lefty setup man will not be ready for game action by the start of the Grapefruit League season, but he'll have plenty of time to get in the necessary work, assuming there are no further setbacks.

Worth Noting

• Fifteen pitchers threw their first session of live batting practice on Monday. Those participants included Martinez, Mike Leake, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal, Luke Weaver, Rowan Wick, Ryan Sherriff, Sandy Alcantara, Jack Flaherty, Austin Gomber, Zach Phillips, Arturo Reyes, Robby Rowland and Josh Lucas.

• Matheny left open the possibility that he'll schedule an intrasquad game and/or give his players an off-day later this week ahead of the team's first Grapefruit League game.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.