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Worth noting

• Right-hander David Aardsma, a late spring signee who has spent the season with Triple-A Memphis, has told the Cardinals he will remain with the organization despite having an opportunity to opt out of his contract and become a free agent on May 15. Aardsma has allowed three earned runs on 11 hits in 17 innings with Memphis but has been passed over for a big league promotion so far.

• Jordan Swagerty, a right-handed pitching prospect in the organization, returned to St. Louis this week to have an elbow clean-up surgery, general manager John Mozeliak said. It has not yet been determined how long the recovery period will be. Swagerty has had multiple surgeries on his right elbow since March 2012 and had to halt his participation in Major League Spring Training this past February due to additional inflammation in that elbow.

• Getting quality at-bats from their pitchers was a priority for the Cardinals entering this season, and the extra work both during and since Spring Training has paid some early dividends. The starters entered Friday hitting .177 (the second-highest average in the National League) with seven RBIs this year. In 2013, the group combined to hit .126 with 19 RBIs in 162 games.

"Without question," manager Mike Matheny said, when asked if the quality of at-bats from pitchers had improved this year. "The long at-bats, even though they might end up in a strikeout, it's costing [the opposing pitcher] six pitches instead of three. I think they've got a real nice approach and that's been a conscious effort. "

• Randal Grichuk homered twice and Oscar Taveras once in Memphis' 10-6 loss on Thursday. The multihomer game was the second of Grichuk's career; he has seven homers this season. Taveras leads Memphis with 31 RBIs.

• Left-hander Marco Gonzales, the No. 19 overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, will make his Double-A debut in Springfield's game against Arkansas on Saturday. Gonzales went 2-2 with a 1.43 ERA and struck out 32 in six starts for Class A Advanced Palm Beach prior to the promotion.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
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