JUPITER, Fla. -- Paul Goldschmidt has eased into fielding drills and throwing during the first week of camp because of soreness in his right elbow. The Cardinals first baseman will start Grapefruit League games as the designated hitter on Saturday against the Mets, as well as again on Monday against the Marlins.
Manager Mike Shildt described Goldschmidt’s designated hitter assignment a “cautionary thing” as Goldschmidt works to get his arm in game shape. Goldschmidt first felt the discomfort leading up to the start of Spring Training, and has been limited in throwing drills during workouts.
“He started playing catch, little soreness in there,” Shildt said. “Nothing uncommon. It’s pretty much gone, but we just want to make sure we’re ramping up his throwing to where it’s smart, to where it doesn’t come back.”
Goldschmidt said he can still throw, but he and the Cardinals want to be cautious to start spring games, especially being over a month away from Opening Day -- the goal being that the soreness doesn’t become something more serious.
“We’re just being smart on the front end,” Shildt said. “We got days."
Weekend pitching plans announced
The pitching plan for Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener starts with Jack Flaherty (two innings or 35 pitches), followed by Dakota Hudson (two innings or 35 pitches). Brett Cecil, Kwang-Hyun Kim, Evan Kruczynski and Rob Kaminsky will all throw one inning or 25 pitches following Flaherty and Hudson. Génesis Cabrera is also scheduled to be available.
On Sunday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Adam Wainwright will start, throwing two innings or 35 pitches, whichever comes first. He will be followed by Carlos Martínez, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Jake Woodford, all scheduled to throw two innings or 35 pitches. Jesus Cruz is scheduled to pitch the final inning, and Alvaro Seijas, Angel Rondon and Ramon Santos are also in the group available to pitch Sunday.
Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman will start Saturday’s game at Roger Dean Stadium.
New titles, roles for coaching staff
In an effort to simplify their game-planning approach and stay on top of the technological modernization of the game, two Cardinals coaches will have different titles this year.
Joey Prebynski, whose former title was Major League game-planning coach, will now be the Cardinals’ run prevention coach. Patrick Elkins was a professional scout for the Cardinals last year and was promoted to the Major League staff this winter as the internal player strategist. The Cardinals have since refined that title to run production coach.
“We talked about it and it’s really simple terms,” Shildt said. “Joey’s on the side of the ball where he works more with [pitching coach Mike Maddux] and [bullpen coach Bryan Eversgerd] and our baseball development group on the pitching and the defense side of the coin. So that part of the ball is trying to prevent runs. And [Elkins is] assisting with the offense and a little bit of baserunning. And so that’s the side that we want to create runs.”
Prebynski works closely with the coaching staff for game-day preparation and player development, while Elkins will work more closely with the hitters while also developing advanced scouting. Elkins will be in uniform for pregame batting practice and cage work. Both will also stay on top of the technology that is being implemented on both defense and offense.
“They’re definitely making sure we have an understanding of what we can do,” Shildt said. “And then we have applied it in the simplest, applicable terms.”
• Persistent rain forced the Cardinals to move most of their workout indoors on Friday. The pitchers had the day off, as is common on the eve of the first game, but many were still seen around the clubhouse.
• Cardinals players will meet with the MLB Players Association on Saturday morning. Executive director Tony Clark meets with each club during Spring Training.