St. Louis Cardinals | Regional Daily News St. Louis Cardinals 2015-03-27T10:40:47Z St. Louis Cardinals Much-anticipated power arrives for Heyward Hours after his manager laughed off concern about Jason Heyward not yet having registered an extra-base hit this spring, the right fielder blasted his first -- all the way onto the porch of the team complex beyond the right-field wall. Indoor session proves more productive for Wainwright Adam Wainwright had very specific goals going into his penultimate start of the spring on Thursday. And he left the complex confident he had accomplished them -- even if it had happened mostly outside the public eye. Heyward ends drought, while Waino a bit shaky Giancarlo Stanton blasted a home run and tacked on an RBI double on Thursday as the Marlins edged the Cardinals, 5-3, at Roger Dean Stadium. The Miami slugger connected for the second time this spring, unloading a mammoth drive off Adam Wainwright in the first inning. Holliday downplays age, seeks better start to season As left fielder Matt Holliday prepares for his sixth full season with the Cardinals, he's seeking to fend off the often decreasing production that comes with increasing age. Shannon shares his take on Cards' expectations Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Shannon, who has been watching the club throughout Spring Training, shared his thoughts on what he has seen over the past month and provided his take on what to expect in the year ahead. Wacha not walking, issues first free pass of spring Michael Wacha, like most players, doesn't concern himself much with Spring Training statistics. That is, except for one. "One I look at," he admitted, "is walks." Wacha has to like what he's seeing these days from that stat line Wacha sets tone with stingy start before Cards win late Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha and Nationals Opening Day starter Max Scherzer were engaged in a terrific pitchers' duel to start Wednesday's matchup at Roger Dean Stadium, before the Cards broke through in the eighth inning for a 1-0 victory. Tennis anyone? Jay introduces unique training method Inspired by a drill that he saw at a University of Miami football practice, Jon Jay prepared for this season with the assistance of a tennis-ball machine. He wasn't the only Cardinals player to employ the unique resource, either. Matheny provides hint at projected season lineup Manager Mike Matheny may not be ready to commit to a regular-season batting order, but the one he utilized for Wednesday's game against Washington offered a sneak peek at what it could be. Injured Pham running out of time to secure bench job A left quad strain that Tommy Pham had hoped would sideline him for only a few days has seemingly derailed his chances at winning a bench spot on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster. Odd man out? Tough decisions a good problem to have Tough decisions are good decisions. Tough decisions mean that the players didn't settle things for you by blowing out their elbows or striking out every trip to the plate or injuring themselves sneezing. Tough decisions mean all those things you liked about these guys on paper are here now, in real life, and it's your job to decide what to do with them. If things continue as is, the Cardinals are going to have an awfully tough decision to make at the back of their rotation. Garcia optimistic after 80-pitch simulated game With an 80-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, Jaime Garcia passed another necessary endurance test while pushing the Cardinals closer to having to make a decision about his season-opening status. Torre's impact on Cards exemplified by HOF candidacy This is the third in a series of stories profiling the eight modern candidates on the Cardinals' 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. Joe Torre and Major League Baseball have often been one and the same. Checking in: 7 spring questions for the Cardinals Before the opening of Grapefruit League play, there were seven big questions the Cardinals needed to answer during the 28-game spring slate. Nearly three weeks in, the club has already crossed some of those off the list. Others still require clarity. With the Cardinals enjoying their final off-day of Spring Training before the push to Opening Day, it seems appropriate to revisit those seven questions. Pipeline Perspectives: Cards have best system of past five years Without the benefit of drafting near the top of the first round for years, the Cardinals have been annual playoff participants for the past four seasons, making it at least to the National League Championship Series each time with typically the most homegrown roster of all the playoff teams. Lynn returns to mound in impressive form Lance Lynn threw four scoreless innings before Monday's matchup was rained out, holding the Red Sox to one hit in his first action since leaving his March 8 spring debut with a left hip flexor strain. Cards hope to add left field to Reynolds' repertoire The Cardinals gave slugging corner infielder Mark Reynolds a start in left field on Monday, hoping added versatility will help them get his powerful right-handed bat in the lineup more often. Lynn holds Red Sox to one hit before rainout The Cardinals scored two runs against Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello in the top of the fifth to break a scoreless tie. With Boston trailing, 2-0, and set to bat in the bottom of the fifth, the game went into a 55-minute rain delay before it was called due to unplayable field conditions. Holliday OK after hit by pitch Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left Monday's game against the Red Sox in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch, but the move had more to do with the wet conditions at JetBlue Park than any injury. Navy grad Harris knocking on big league door Following four years, eight months and eight days as an active officer, and another two trying to rediscover himself in the Minors, Lieutenant Mitchell Andrew Harris finds himself on the cusp of becoming the first graduate of the Naval Academy in 94 years -- and only the second ever -- to appear in a Major League Baseball game. Aggressive baserunning could benefit Cards this season There's been a lot of interest this spring in the Cardinals' more aggressive approach on the basepaths. It was obvious once again Sunday, when they swiped five bases against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Grichuk leads Cardinals with four spring homers It's Spring Training, so obviously Cardinals manager Mike Matheny isn't going to spend too much time looking at his team's home run leaderboard. But if he did, he'd find outfielder Randal Grichuk with four homers and everyone else combining for nine. Only one other St. Louis hitter, Mark Reynolds, has more than one. Lackey focuses on fastball in second spring outing After a long bus ride across the state -- an unusual assignment for a veteran like John Lackey -- he gave up five runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Grichuk's ninth-inning homer fuels Cards Randal Grichuk's two-run homer off Orioles pitcher Chaz Roe in the top of the ninth inning gave the Cardinals a 7-6 lead, and they added one more. Martinez fires 3 shutout innings in bid for rotation At some point in the next couple of weeks, the Cardinals will make a decision on which pitchers will make up their rotation to start the season. For the second straight spring, Carlos Martinez hopes to be one of them. For the second straight spring, there are no guarantees. Wainwright aces every test in first action of spring There was a ball hit to Adam Wainwright's left and one to his right. He batted. Eric Young Jr. faked a bunt that forced him to take a hard first step off the mound. "I think he had every test that he needed to have," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Cards win Wainwright's strong debut in wild fashion Dean Anna's ninth-inning single knocked in the only run of the game as the Cardinals edged the Braves on Saturday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium. The clear storyline for the Cardinals was the return of ace right-hander Adam Wainwright, who was making his first start of the spring. Regional Daily News 2015-03-27T15:40:47Z