Day 39: Astros (8-14) @ Cardinals (9-10)

Jenifer Langosch/

wpid-0323140902.jpgAfter beating the Astros on Saturday, the Cardinals get a chance to sweep the weekend series today. This is the final spring matchup between the two clubs — and actually the last one of the year. For the first time since the Astros became a Major League franchise, these two clubs will not meet during the regular season. Houston moved to the AL Central last year but did face the Cardinals in Interleague play. That’s not on the schedule in 2014.

The Cardinals made a trio of roster moves today, optioning outfielder Joey Butler and left-hander Sam Freeman to Triple-A and shortstop Aledmys Diaz to Double-A. The Cardinals now have 37 players remaining in camp — two of which (Jason Motte, Jaime Garcia) will begin the season on the disabled list.

With Freeman gone, the final spot in the Cardinals bullpen will be going to one of three pitchers — Jorge Rondon, Keith Butler or Scott McGregor. The Major League job will likely be temporary, though, as this will be Motte’s spot in the bullpen once he is healthy.

This morning, left-hander Jaime Garcia is scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time since bursitis in his left shoulder forced him to shut down his throwing program. Garcia had hoped to get back on a mound before the Cardinals broke camp and has met that goal.

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