The World Baseball Classic has been particularly rough on the Cardinals.
While several teams have grumbled this spring about exposing their players to risk in exhibition games, the Cardinals have been without one of their biggest stars and one of their most fragile players for about half of the Grapefruit League schedule.
Yadier Molina has logged 23 at-bats as Puerto Rico wades deep into the tournament while right fielder Carlos Beltran and his balky knees has had 29 at-bats.
Meanwhile, relief pitcher Mitchell Boggs basically wasted his time as a member of the American entry in the World Baseball Classic. He pitched an inning and a third while falling behind in his spring work of pitching to live hitters.
Hopefully, the Cardinals can get back their starting catcher and right fielder sooner rather than later so they can work with their teammates and help the offense to come together. While they were keying a Puerto Rico comeback against Italy, Molina and Beltran could have been used to help the Redbirds avoid their recent rash of shutouts.
I just hope nobody gets hurt messing around in a tournament built on the concept of national pride. How successful can that program be when Team USA is bumped and no one cares enough to belly ache about it? I haven't heard a single peep either in favor or against the American team's performance, roster or strategy. And it's a bad sign when no one cares enough to complain about a poor showing.