Cardinals to use young pitchers in exhibition

St. Louis hosts Florida Atlantic University on Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium

February 28th, 2016
Austin Gomber went 15-3 with a 2.67 ERA at Class A Peoria in 2015. (

JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was asked on Sunday if Florida Atlantic University will use aluminum bats when it faces St. Louis in an exhibition game on Wednesday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.

"That's a good question," Matheny said. "We'll see what they show up with. It's amazing how many of these [college and high school] kids are training with wood [bats]. They look for every advantage they can get. This is really the first time since I've been here in this position we've done this. I don't know the guidelines."

Matheny has mixed emotions about playing a college team instead of opposing another Major League team to start the Spring Training game schedule. The Cardinals open Grapefruit League play on Thursday against the Marlins.

"If it's good for our area, otherwise, we need to start seeing our players against professional players," Matheny said. "That's where we get the best read, but we've got time, so I'm fine with that. I think it's neat for the kids."

Matheny said he plans to "go with some of the younger pitchers" against Division I FAU, whose campus is located about a 30-minute drive south of Jupiter. One of the intriguing matchups will be when former FAU standout left-hander Austin Gomber takes the mound against some of his former teammates. Matheny would not commit as to whether Gomber will start the game, only that he "will pitch at some point."


Matheny said that he is considering giving the players a day off Tuesday, but he won't make a decision until after Monday's workout.

"We'll see," Matheny said. "I want to see the effort and attitude level [on Sunday and Monday]."