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Ryan, Freese and Kinney

Nagging injuries have created some opportunities for some unexpected Cardinals to shake things up early in spring training.

Brendan Ryan, the most experienced second base candidate that the Cardinals have in camp, has a sore wrist that has kept him from being able to hit lately. That means some of the dark horse candidates jockeying for the position will get additional playing time when the Grapefruit League games start. This one is bothersome because Ryan said the injury has pretty much bothered him all off season. It's starting to look like it's not just going to heal on its own anytime soon.

There's a similar situation over at third base where David Freese, odds on favorite to fill in for injured starter Troy Glaus, has struggled with a quad injury. Outfielder Joe Mather has capitalized on extra chances he has had to work at third and has impressed management that he could be a serviceable player at third until Glaus gets back. I think the Cardinals would prefer that last season's first round draft choice, Brett Wallace, stay in the minor leagues and get some more at bats.

According to Cardinals reliever Josh Kinney has his mechanics all out of whack and he has struggled mightly so far this spring. Although he pitched well in a rehab assignment and then a brief stay with the big league club at the end of the season, Kinney essentially spent two seasons on the shelf with injuries. So it is understandable why he might have a whole lot of rust to scrape off.