• Peter Bourjos made his first public appearance as a Cardinal on Monday, but said he was already well prepared for the welcome he received from fans. He had Albert Pujols, a teammate of Bourjos' in Anaheim, to thank for the scouting report.
"He said it's awesome," Bourjos said. "He called me the day I got traded, and he was really happy for me. He couldn't tell me nice enough things about playing for the Cardinals and the town and everything. He said the fans understand the game and they're going to root for both sides; if a guy makes a nice play for the other side, they're going to cheer for him. They understand the game of baseball and how it is supposed to be played. That's something that is nice to hear."
• The Cardinals plan to have as many as eight pitchers vie for a starting rotation spot during Spring Training. Said manager Mike Matheny on that competition: "I would say it's fierce. I want these guys all showing up competing, no matter who they are or how long they've been around or what accolades they've been given. That mindset that I have to come out and earn my job is real important. That's something we've been very, very blessed around here to have."
• According to Matheny, Jaime Garcia will not have a modified Spring Training plan this year. Garcia, who has wrapped up his rehab work from left shoulder surgery, will be one of those pitchers battling for a place in the rotation.
• The St. Louis Baseball writers hosted their annual awards dinner on Sunday night, during which Tony La Russa was celebrated for his recent election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. At the end of his speech, La Russa noted that the best decision John Mozeliak will make during his tenure as general manager was hiring Matheny to replace La Russa.
A day later, Matheny, who was also honored at the dinner, admitted to being totally caught off guard by the compliment.
"When you hear one of the greatest managers of all time pay a compliment to the organization, to Mo and to myself that's something that I just don't dismiss," Matheny said. "I also realize that he knows, too, that I walked into a really good situation here, and it's something that I'm very, very grateful for. And he knows, too, that I have got a long way to go and that I've been fortunate to use him as a resource to help me move in a positive direction. So I took that as a great compliment from one of the greatest baseball minds I've ever been around."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.