Wainwright's spring debut announced

Ace set for Monday start against the Mets in Jupiter, Fla.

March 4th, 2016

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Cardinals have some key Spring Training debuts on tap, beginning with ace Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright will start Monday's home game against the Mets. He is expected to make four Grapefruit League starts in advance of his Opening Day assignment against the Pirates.

Additionally, the Cardinals have Michael Wacha slated to make his first start on Tuesday and have tabbed non-roster invitee Deck McGuire as their Sunday starter.

Matt Holliday, originally slated to make his Spring Training debut on Saturday at first base against the Marlins, was scratched with lower back tightness. He is the only position player projected to be on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster who has yet to appear in a spring game.

Worth noting

• While the Cardinals traveled to Kissimmee to face the Astros on Friday, Carlos Martinez remained in Jupiter, Fla., to throw his first live batting practice of spring. The Cardinals have had Martinez on a slowed spring program because of the right shoulder injury that prematurely ended his 2015 season. Martinez is still on track to be part of the club's Opening Day rotation.

• Mike Leake also threw live batting practice back at the team's complex as he awaits his first Grapefruit League start.

• Yadier Molina accomplished another spring first on Friday when he caught Leake's live BP session. Molina, who is strengthening his left thumb following offseason surgery, has been methodically increasing his catching work over the past 10 days. He started by catching throws around the bases, then from a pitching machine and, earlier this week, squatted for his first bullpen sessions.

Molina will continue to get his catching work on the backfields since he has not been cleared to swing a bat.

• Friday marked the Cardinals' final trip to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, as the Astros will become the Cardinals' Spring Training neighbors in Palm Beach County beginning in 2017. The Astros, who will share a spring facility with the Nationals, have trained in Kissimmee since 1985.

• Infielder Luke Doyle, the Cardinals' 20th-round pick in the 2015 Draft, has been suspended for the first 50 games of the season after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. According to a statement released by Major League Baseball on Friday, Doyle's positive drug test was triggered by the stimulant Amphetamine.

Doyle, 20, appeared in 44 games with the Cardinals' rookie-level affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn., last season. He hit .207/.345/.354 over 200 plate appearances. Doyle can still participate in Minor League Spring Training and will begin serving his suspension upon the start of the Appalachian League season.