Notes: Rolen ready for season
Cards third baseman not concerned with spring numbers
JUPITER, Fla. -- Scott Rolen doesn't evaluate himself based on his statistics during the regular season, so it should be of little surprise that he puts absolutely no stock in Spring Training numbers. Rolen, hitting .232 on the spring, pronounced himself right on time for the start of the season, which comes in four days.
"I feel like I've had enough at-bats," Rolen said Wednesday. "I'm seeing the ball. My swing is in good shape and I feel like I've gotten out of the spring what I wanted to get out of the spring. I feel like I'm ready to go."
Rolen got off to a quick start this spring, showing aggressiveness and extra-base power earlier than he usually does. But the numbers haven't carried through the spring. Rolen insists that's no indication of his progress.
"I can see progression in the cage," he said. "I can see progression during batting practice -- through the way the ball travels, where I feel like I am with my spring, what I feel like I can get to and what I can't."
A day earlier, Albert Pujols pronounced his own readiness for games that count, both in word and deed. Pujols hit a massive home run on Tuesday. Rolen has yet to have that sort of exclamation-mark moment in a late spring game.
Nonetheless, he likes where his swing is, and he said he's recognizing pitches well. Making things even better, he has hit Mets Opening Night starter Tom Glavine extremely well through his career.
"I have no idea what's ahead of me in the months of April and May, numbers or anything," he said. "It could be backwards from what it was last year. But I know that standing here, I'm in a lot better shape physically and mentally than I was last year. So I'll take that knowledge."
Marrero relieved: Eli Marrero got good news on his sore right elbow. Marrero underwent an MRI exam on the joint on Monday, and he learned that he has tendinitis and a strained ligament in his throwing elbow. He will not throw a baseball for several more days.
"No throwing for about four or five days," said Marrero, who has been assigned to Triple-A Memphis. "No hitting. And we'll take it from there."
Marrero had feared the worst, based on significant pain in his elbow.
"I swear to you, I thought I would have to have surgery," he said.
Encarnacion update: Juan Encarnacion still is not swinging a bat after he received a cortisone shot on his surgically repaired left wrist on Sunday. He will not be with the team for Opening Night, though he will travel to St. Louis to participate in the World Series ring ceremony on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.
"I haven't done anything yet," Encarnacion said, when asked if the shot had helped his wrist feel better. "I've had a few days of not doing anything."
Encarnacion will start the season on the disabled list, and it is unclear when he will be available to play in games.
Quotable: "It doesn't bother me. I hit zero last year. I'm way ahead of schedule with one." -- Rolen, on his home run output this spring
Weather report: The Cardinals' last day in Florida will look a lot like most of the previous 30 or so. The first-pitch temperature in Jupiter should be about 80 degrees, with a few clouds, a very slight chance of rain and some wind.
Coming up: St. Louis plays its final Grapefruit League game on Thursday. The Cards will be the visiting team at Roger Dean Stadium for a 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Marlins. Kip Wells makes his last exhibition start, with Anibal Sanchez going for Florida.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.