03/16/2013 5:38 PM ET
Rzepczynski returns from eye injury, goes 1-2-3
By Steve Dorsey / Special to MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- All appears well with Marc Rzepczynski's eyesight, if his brief, but effective, outing Saturday is any indication.
A day after being cleared to return to the mound, and eight days after he sustained an injury to his left eye from a piece of debris while playing golf, Rzepczynski pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning the Cardinals' 3-0 Grapefruit League loss to the Tigers at Roger Dean Stadium.
Rzepczynski needed only 11 pitches in the top of the seventh to retire the side. He handled a chopper in front of the mound for the first out, was aided by a nice defensive play by shortstop Greg Garcia for the second out and punctuated his one-inning stint with a strikeout for the third out.
"His ball had a lot of life to it," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think, in all, it was a good outing for him, one of the better ones he's had in a while. I'm just glad, first of all, his vision is right and everything checked out."
Rzepczysnki said the eye is close to being 100 percent healed and he was not bothered by it on the mound.
"I see great," the left-hander said. "I didn't have any problems, so that was a big thing. I threw my sinker where I wanted it to be, so it was a pretty good day."
Boggs returns from Classic seeking regular work
JUPITER, Fla. -- Right-hander Mitchell Boggs returned to Cardinals camp Saturday following his stint with Team USA, which was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic on Friday at Marlins Park.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said he's anxious to get Boggs some work in a game situation after he pitched only 1 1/3 innings for Team USA, but it would not be before Sunday's game against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.
"There's a good chance it will be soon, [but] not today," Matheny said before Saturday's game against the Tigers. "We'll try to get him in as soon as possible, especially since he hasn't had much work."
Boggs said he enjoyed the two-week experience in the Classic despite seeing limited action, but was excited to return to Cardinals camp.
"It was something I was honored to be a part of," Boggs said. "Probably didn't get a chance to pitch as much as you would like if you're in camp, but we all knew that, we all signed up for that. It's an experience I'll remember forever."
Boggs said he has no reason to believe he won't be ready by Opening Day despite not getting the regular work he would have with the Cardinals the past two weeks.
"My arm feels great, my stuff is good," Boggs said. "I figure I'll be in the game [Sunday]."
Matheny is confident Boggs will be ready to pitch in a game situation soon.
"He had two strong sides in between [his Classic outings], so we feel good about him throwing," Matheny said. "He feels well-rested, but he's ready to get out there and pitch in game situations for sure. We'll restructure as we need to. We've got to get guys in when we can get them. We're getting to that point in spring where it's just tough getting guys the work they need. I mean, we pulled [Adam Wainwright] out early [Friday] just to get some other guys the work. We got out of it what we needed to, but it's going to get tougher as these guys get stretched out."
Beltran, Molina remain with PR amid Classic run
JUPITER, Fla. -- Outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Yadier Molina will remain away from Cardinals camp for at least a few more days, as they depart for San Francisco and the championship round of the World Baseball Classic after Puerto Rico's game against the Dominican Republic on Saturday in Miami.
Matheny expressed mixed emotions about still not having two front-line starters in camp.
"We'll have to see what they look like when they get here," Matheny said. "I'm not going to shy away from the fact that I look forward to having our guys back and trying to get them on a schedule that leads us to Opening Day.
"I'm excited for the fact that the Classic helps the game of baseball. That's the business we're in, so we need to promote that. But it's hard not to be selfish, and on the selfish side, I'm concerned about our guys. I'm concerned about our team. So it's good to have Mitchell [Boggs] back.
"I'm as patriotic as the next guy. I always hope the best for the United States, but I'm pretty focused on what it takes for our individual players to be ready."
• Third baseman David Freese sat out his second consecutive game Saturday because of pain in his back from a fall he took while chasing a foul ball near the dugout about two weeks ago. Matheny said it's mostly precautionary.
"He started to feel better, then it tightened up on him," Matheny said. "We just have to be careful. We'll keep watching and keep a close eye on it."
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.