Both photos are credited to USA Today Sports.
After losing all three games against the Pirates, the Cardinals will head south to face the Atlanta Braves, who dropped their two games with the Washington Nationals this week, in an early season series between two clubs with very different objectives to meet this season.
The Braves will send young right-hander Matt Wisler to the mound to kick off his 2016 campaign. Wisler had a fine spring, holding batters to collective .188 batting average in just under fourteen innings. Wisler made (and won) his start against St. Louis in July of last season; he pitched seven innings and limited the Cardinals to two runs. St. Louis will pencil in lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia, 29, has not logged 150 innings in a season since logging nearly 200 in 2011. In four starts during the spring exhibition season, Garcia struck out fifteen.
In the second game, the Braves will grant the nod Julio Teheran. Teheran, 25, made the Opening Day start for the Braves on Monday, April 4. Teheran tossed six innings, allowing two runs on five hits to the Nationals. The Cardinals will counter with Carlos Martinez. Martinez is looking to build on his first full season of starting regularly. After a steady workout program to strengthen his throwing shoulder during the offseason, Martinez made four starts this spring and allowed four runs on twelve hits and a walk.
In the series finale, Williams Perez will make his first start of the regular season for the Braves after having a solid spring. In eleven innings, Perez struck out nine batters and walked three. Perez appeared in 23 games (20 starts) with Atlanta last season and posted a 7-6 record in thirteen decisions. The Cardinals will give the ball to Adam Wainwright, Atlanta’s first-round draft pick in 2000. Wainwright made the start for the Cardinals in their first game of the season, lasting six innings and surrendering three runs on six hits to the Pirates.
ATL: Adonis Garcia, third baseman. Seven at-bats have been enough for the 30-year-old third baseman to record two RBIs and four hits so far, including a home run.
STL: Seung Hwan Oh, relief pitcher. In his first two innings in American baseball, Oh struck out five batters. The Cardinals signed Oh in January to bolster their ‘pen. Currently, he leads all Cardinals — relievers and starters — in Ks.
ATL: A.J. Pierzynski, catcher. In addition to three strikeouts, Pierzynski has one hit in eight at-bats this spring.
STL: Randal Grichuk, right fielder. In ten at-bats in the young season, Grichuk has one hit and six strikeouts, which is far different than the quality of performance he demonstrated this spring. Grichuk did not start in the series finale at Pittsburgh on Wednesday in hopes to clear his mind and get back on track.