2/28/2013 6:45 P.M. ET
Piscotty makes right field debut in 'B' contest
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- Stephen Piscotty, the No. 36 overall selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, showcased himself at his new position on Thursday, when he took his spot in right field during the Cardinals' morning 'B' game against the Marlins.
Drafted out of Stanford University as a third baseman, Piscotty learned of the organization's intention to convert him to the outfield after he wrapped up a 36-game stint as an infielder with Low Class A Quad Cities last summer.
"We always wanted to give him the opportunity to play third, but based on what we saw, we felt it made the most sense to make the outfield move now and get him accustomed to being out there," said farm director John Vuch. "We felt like his skills translate better to right field than third base. He runs well. He has a plus arm. He has a right-field caliber arm."
There was also a potential logjam to consider. Three of the Cardinals' first six Draft selections last summer were third basemen, and the organization was going to struggle to find assignments for all three at that position. Of the trio, Piscotty was the one deemed best suited for a transition.
While he could get some work in left field, eventually, Piscotty will focus on right field, for now. That's because the Cardinals believe he has a good enough arm to stick there long term.
"He was very positive about the change," Vuch said. "We talked to him when the season ended, so he prepared all offseason for becoming an outfielder."
Beltran sustains foot injury, X-rays negative
JUPITER, Fla. -- Right fielder Carlos Beltran exited Thursday's game shortly after an errant pitch from Miami starter Jacob Turner struck him on his right foot.
Beltran attempted to stay in the game initially and ran the bases in full during the Cardinals' six-run inning. But for precautionary reasons, the Cardinals did not sent him back out on defense for the second. Instead, Beltran headed back to the clubhouse, where X-rays on his foot came back negative.
"I tried not to think about it, and tried to run regular around the bases, but then it got sore," Beltran said, before adding, "It's painful. It's painful."
Beltran characterized the injury as day to day, though he only has two days remaining in Cardinals camp before he's scheduled to join Team Puerto Rico for the start of the World Baseball Classic. Asked if this injury could affect his status for the Classic, Beltran answered "who knows?"
Beltran will report to the Cardinals' spring complex on Friday for treatment and further evaluation. He was already scheduled to skip the team's game against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla.
"We'll see how it feels," Beltran said. "Right now it's sore."
Westbrook dealing with left knee contusion
JUPITER, Fla. -- Jake Westbrook's first Grapefruit League start was an abbreviated one, as he followed Carlos Beltran with an early exit due to injury.
Westbrook was struck on the inside part of his left leg -- just below his knee -- on a comebacker off the bat of Casey Kotchman, who was the first Marlins hitter to bat in the second. That brought a trainer and manager Mike Matheny out of the dugout, and after a lengthy conference, Matheny made the decision to end Westbrook's day.
"He wanted to stay out there, but the first time out, why?" Matheny said. "He was getting close to 20 pitches. It was still a little cool at that point. None of it made sense to me."
Westbrook, who was diagnosed with a left knee contusion, later said that he was eventually able to walk off the pain. He doesn't expect to be slowed in the coming days by the issue.
"They said there was no reason to push it, and I had no intention of arguing in the first game of Spring Training," Westbrook said. "It's precautionary. I have a lot of time to get my work in."
Because Westbrook's workload was lighter than anticipated on Thursday, Matheny said that the right-hander could throw more pitches in his next side session to help increase his endurance in advance of his next scheduled start.
In his one inning on Thursday, Westbrook allowed one run on four hits, the last of which was the ball that struck him.
"I felt like I was on the right track," Westbrook said. "The biggest part is not getting my first workload in as far as the number of pitches that I needed to throw to progress. But we'll figure something out and make adjustments."
• Matheny was deliberate in starting Yadier Molina at first base on Thursday, even though the Cardinals' manager does not intend to use Molina at the position during the regular season. Rather, Thursday's defensive assignment was dictated by the possibility that Molina could be needed at first during the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
• Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock arrived in Jupiter on Thursday and will serve as a guest instructor for the club through the end of March. Thursday also marked the final day that Willie McGee was to help out in camp.
• Seth Maness threw three scoreless innings in the Cardinals' morning 'B' game against the Marlins. Maness, the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, had tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League appearance.
• The Budweiser Clydesdales pulled into town on Thursday morning and were escorted around the Roger Dean Stadium warning track prior to the Cardinals' game against the Marlins.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.