The St. Louis Cardinals will open their Grapefruit League schedule on Thursday and Carlos Martinez has been tabbed to make the start against the Miami Marlins.

“We’ll have Carlos throw in the first one and Tyler Lyons will be backing him,” shared Matheny. who said both will be throwing about 30 pitches each.

While the schedule would allow for Martinez to make six starts, Matheny said the move is more about flexibility and not too read too much into who is making the first start.

“Guys just want to pitch, they all know they’re going to get an opportunity,” said the manager. “When they get it, isn’t necessarily that important as long as they’re getting consistent looks. He’s always excited to take the ball. He wants to show what he can do.”

But as expected, Martinez is excited to take the ball.

“I feel good and concentrating on what I need to do–I’m going to take it like it’s the last game of the World Series,” relayed Martinez through translator Luis Morales. “I need to go down and perform” meaning that “even though it’s the first game, he’s going to have the focus of it being the last one”.

Martinez was among those who threw to hitters today and afterwards had a brief discussion with Matheny on the field.

“I was working on some stuff with my glove, working them down and in and Mike said everything was okay–he liked my sinker.”

For the record, Martinez liked his sinker too.

WAINO BACK ON THE MOUND

–Adam Wainwright threw a light bullpen session on Monday.

“He’s just throwing off the mound lightly today,” said Matheny, adding there is “a long way to go” before Wainwright pitches in a game. “His arm feels good. It’s in a great slot. Everything’s coming out nice, he’s just got to stay on top of it.”

Wainwright threw over 30 pitches during the session and mixed in a variety of his pitches.

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