St. Louis Cardinals

Postcard from Florida: Lynn, Jay ready for spring game; what to do with Bourjos?

Greetings from Jupiter, Fla., where it’s a relatively quiet Wednesday since most of the big-leaguers are enjoying some down time away from the Roger Dean Stadium complex. Lance Lynn and Jon Jay were the lone major-league players in attendance. Lynn threw a simulated game, with Jay serving as one of the hitters.

Lynn said he would be ready to compete in his second spring game in five days, although manager Mike Matheny did not confirm that would happen. Lynn left his March 8 start against Miami because of a left hip-flexor strain.

Jay, meanwhile, said he could start his first game Thursday, Friday or Saturday, something that will be determined as early as Thursday when the Cardinals play the New York Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.

Peter Bourjos, whom the Cardinals expected to supplant Jay in center field last year, suddenly seems in jeopardy of even making the team.

Bourjos’ average slipped to .043 (1-for-23) Tuesday and he appears to have lost any grip he might have had on being the fourth or fifth outfielder. Randal Grichuk seems to have the inside track on being the fourth outfielder. He can play all three spots and is a constant power threat.

Ty Kelly, Jacob Wilson and Pete Kozma are infielders who are being used in the outfield, too. They bring more versatility to the roster than Bourjos. While Bourjos is a plus defender and runner, he has two things working against him as a hitter: an inability to get on base consistently and a lack of power.

Bourjos has options remaining, which means the Cardinals could send him to Class AAA Memphis. With five years of big-league experience, Bourjos could refuse the assignment and become a free agent. It’s not clear whether the Cardinals would risk losing him, but the way Bourjos has played, the risk seems minimal at best.

Be sure to check out bnd.com to enjoy a video production of Belleville’s Dennis Schutzenhofer, in his ninth year as one of the Cardinals’ main batting-practice pitchers. “Shooter” always has something interesting to see, and the access enjoyed by reporters and photographers at spring training allow us to get you up close and personal to the action.

Dinner was outstanding Tuesday night. Photographer Derik Holtmann and I headed straight for Waterway Cafe and enjoyed fantastic scenery on the intracoastal, and the food was tremendous. I settled on grilled Mahi-Mahi which was served with rice and a vegetable mix. Solid.

David Wilhelm

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