JUPITER, Fla. -- Fortuitous timing lined up Mike Leake's organizational debut with Yadier Molina's first spring start, giving everyone a preview of a partnership that could be fruitful for the newest member of the team's rotation."I think he and Yadi are going to have fun together," manager Mike Matheny said
JUPITER, Fla. -- Fortuitous timing lined up Mike Leake's organizational debut with Yadier Molina's first spring start, giving everyone a preview of a partnership that could be fruitful for the newest member of the team's rotation.
"I think he and Yadi are going to have fun together," manager Mike Matheny said after his club's 5-3 loss to the Marlins on Wednesday. "I think Yadi's the kind of catcher that can help Mike be very creative. He has the kind of stuff to be very creative. I think they're going to enjoy the chess match, cat-and-mouse game. Guys like that are fun to catch."
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Leake threw 26 pitches over his two-inning start. Randal Grichuk threw out a runner at home to preserve the scoreless outing for Leake, who allowed two hits and struck out two batters.
The 28-year-old right-hander had thrown to Molina once previously -- during a live batting practice session -- and had faced him 34 times as an opponent. Both have spoken glowingly about the other this spring.
"It's kind of a surreal moment because I'm throwing to a future Hall of Famer and not many people can say that," Leake said of working with Molina. "I think his knowledge of the hitters and the knowledge of how to approach pitches throughout the count will help. Don't have to think as much."
• Mitch Harris, whose spring program was modified because of some earlier soreness, is scheduled to appear in his first Grapefruit League game on Thursday.
• The Cardinals officially announced Carlos Martinez as their Friday starter. Martinez will be the final member of the club's projected five-man rotation to take the mound this spring. Saturday's split-squad games will be started by Adam Wainwright (home) and Tyler Lyons (road).
• Patrick Wisdom, who hit a two-run blast in Wednesday's loss, exited the game for a pinch-runner in the seventh after his hamstring tightened up on him. Matheny suggested the Cardinals may keep Wisdom out of the next few games as a precaution.
• Rule 5 Draft pick Matthew Bowman, who had his debut delayed last week after taking a ball off his right eye, pitched two innings on Wednesday. He allowed two runs on four hits over two innings, but he nevertheless impressed Matheny with his ability to induce ground-ball contact.
• Skip Schumaker, who won World Series championships with the Cardinals in 2006 and '11, announced his retirement on Wednesday. Schumaker had been working out with the Padres this spring as a non-roster invitee. He played eight of his 11 Major League seasons with St. Louis.
• Former World Series Most Valuable Player David Eckstein will serve as the keynote speaker at the Cardinals' 26th Annual Christian Day at the Ballpark, which has been scheduled for Aug. 7. Following the team's afternoon game against the Braves, fans can stay for a postgame program that will feature Eckstein and other current Cardinals players sharing their testimonies in faith. For more information, visit cardinals.com/christianday.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.