Cardinals Opening Day Spring Game - Luke Weaver To Start And Line-up For Today

By Beth Chapman
Feb. 25, 2017

Today, ends the long winter wait for Major League Baseball to begin. The St. Louis Cardinals will be hosted by the Miami Marlins at their shared facility, Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter FL, for the 2017 Spring Opening Game. 

St. Louis Cardinals begin their Spring schedule today playing the Miami Marlins for "Opening Day".

Per Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com, Cardinals rookie RHP Luke Weaver has gotten the nod to make the start. He will face Marlins Edinson Volquez. Line-up today against the Marlins will be: 

Cardinals at Miami (2/25):  Dexter Fowler CF; Greg Garcia 2B; Matt Carpenter 1B; Steven Piscotty RF; Yadier Molina C; Matt Adams DH; Jedd Gyorko 3B; Jo. Martinez LF; Paul DeJong SS and Luke Weaver RHP. Per @Cardinals Twitter

Luke Weaver made his debut with the Cardinals, August 13, 2016 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Weaver pitched in nine games last season, making his debut August 13. Eight of those games were as a starter. He closed the his season at 5.70 ERA, after having a solid 3.86 ERA in August (21 IP/26 SO/4 HR/9 ER). Langosch refers to Weaver as the "darkhorse candidate" for the fifth spot in the 2017 rotation. He will be competing against Mike Leake, Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha. I'm presuming Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez will top the rotation. "Ace" to be determined between the two, in my opinion. I feel Martinez has a very good shot to be slated for Opening Day, April 2.  However, such a decision will be made within the next five weeks. More than likely the final decision will be the last week of this Spring season. But, Weaver? Silent hero for 2017

"Others scheduled to pitch in the opener include trade acquisition John Gant, lefty Austin Gomber and closer Seung Hwan Oh. This will be Oh's lone appearance before departing for the World Baseball Classic. Oh's Korean team begins Classic play on March 6."

Since, the Cardinals and Marlins share the same park for Spring games. They will swap "sides" for Sunday's game. Due to start will be prospect Mike Mayers for Cardinals "home" game. Yes, the same Mike Mayers who had a very unfortunate debut last season. His one and only appearance as a starter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That was then, now a fresh new season. Let's give the kid a chance to prove himself and see what he's really capable of. 

On Monday, the Cardinals have split team games. Cardinals will host the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean with Michael Wacha to start. Wacha returns this Spring after his reoccurring shoulder injury which placed him the bullpen the latter part of 2016. Cardinals split team will be playing against the Boston Red Sox at Fort Myers with Lance Lynn make his debut this Spring to the mound after missing last season to Tommy John's surgery. 

Cardinals have named Seung Hwan Oh their closer for 2017.

Bottomline ~ Baseball is BACK! Cardinals fans favorite, Fox Sports Midwest, will cover 15 of the home games for our enjoyment. (Complete televised schedule for Cardinals Spring games in March) As the Cardinals begin the Spring schedule, so do all MLB teams this weekend. America's favorite summer sport has finally returned. Enjoy.

ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY, Friday, February 24 ~ per Jenifer Langosch"Cards ink Cuban outfielder to Minors deal - Jose Adolis Garcia was MVP of Cuba's Serie Nacional." 

The soon to be 24 years old, he plays all three outfield positions. A free agent as of this past December, the agreement/minor league contract includes an invite to Major League camp, and JA Garcia signed for a $2.5 million bonus, [according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez]. His older brother, Adonis Garcia, plays third base for the Atlanta Braves.