Weaver tabbed for Cards' spring opener

Weaver tabbed for Cards' spring opener

JUPITER, Fla. -- Luke Weaver will get the nod for the Cardinals in Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Marlins. Manager Mike Matheny made the announcement early Wednesday morning under ominous skies that threatened the day's Spring Training workouts.

But the weather cooperated long enough for Matheny to get in the work he wanted.

"You do what you can," Matheny said. "Just want to get the priorities -- the pitchers on the field, if we could."

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That's important because the Cardinals open with a hectic schedule. Following the game on Saturday, the Cards face the Marlins again on Sunday before taking on the Red Sox and Nationals on Monday in split-squad games.

Weaver ranked No. 68 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list

With starters going just a couple of innings, it could be quite taxing on the pitching staff. While the Saturday start goes to right-hander Weaver, who was 1-4 with a 5.70 ERA in nine games -- including eight starts -- for the Cardinals this past season, Matheny said he would like to see a trio of arms get time on the mound as well.

Right-hander John Gant, who went 1-4 with a 4.86 ERA in 50 innings with Atlanta this past season, and lefty Austin Gomber, a non-roster invitee, will also take the hill for St. Louis. Gomber was a fourth-round pick of the Cards in 2014, and he has spent the past three years in their farm system, starting the '16 season at Double-A Springfield.

"Those are three we see for sure," Matheny said. "And we still talked about [Seung Hwan] Oh getting out there."

It will be the start of a string of pitchers who will get their chance to impress over the weekend.

"That's why we brought in all the extra guys," Matheny said. "We started making some late additions with some guys that should be able to help us."

Matheny said that there's a good chance he'll see every pitcher in camp over those three days.

"Usually we'd be using our minicamp guys, but I think we brought in enough pitchers to cover it," Matheny said.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.