3/30/2014 7:33 P.M. ET
Wainwright seeks elusive Opening Day win
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- For all that Adam Wainwright has already accomplished in his career, winning an Opening Day start still remains to be checked off.
Wainwright was the losing pitcher in the Cardinals' Opening Day defeat to the D-backs last season. In 2009, he watched the Pirates come from behind to spoil the day. His best chance for an Opening Day victory came a year earlier, when Wainwright was staked to a 5-1 lead against the Rockies only to have the game postponed due to rain. That meant that none of the statistics counted, so officially, Kyle Lohse, who started the next day, is credited as pitching the Cardinals' opener in '08.
Wainwright will get another chance on Monday at 3:10 p.m. CT as he matches up against the Reds' Johnny Cueto.
W: Wainwright L: Cueto SV: Rosenthal
"An Opening Day start is obviously an awesome honor and something I'm very excited about, something I hope to do for five more years," Wainwright said on Sunday, as the Cardinals were wrapping up an afternoon workout. "Winning is ultimately the name of the game. You can start as many Opening Days as you want, but if you don't win them, you're going to lose a little bit of greatness on that day. It would be nice to win one."
If Wainwright is to add this particular feather to his cap, he'll have to defeat a Reds team that was responsible for three of the nine losses on the right-hander's record a year ago. In the last two of those losses, Wainwright allowed a combined 15 earned runs and 17 hits in eight innings.
He rebounded from those back-to-back clunkers by making some mechanical adjustments to keep himself from tipping pitches and went on to post a 1.80 ERA over his final five starts of the 2013 regular season.
"It didn't matter if it was Cincinnati or if it was the worst team in the league last year -- where I was that day against Cincinnati here in Cincinnati was not good," Wainwright recalled. "And the following start against Cincinnati wasn't good either. I made some good adjustments. I couldn't have gotten anybody out. It's just a crazy game."
Kozma makes Cards' roster; Ellis to 15-day DL
CINCINNATI -- The Cardinals, who finalized their Opening Day roster on Sunday, will carry Pete Kozma on it after deciding to place infielder Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list.
Ellis was slowed by right patella tendinitis earlier this month and said he re-aggravated his knee when he slipped on a soggy field during a March 25 game. Ellis played in the Cardinals' Grapefruit League game the next day but has been limited since. Though he was on the field for Sunday's workout at Great American Ball Park, Ellis did not participate in ground-ball drills with the other infielders.
"I'm disappointed," Ellis said. "I felt like this was the best thing for the long haul of the season. If you have to miss time, miss it now and be ready for the rest of the season."
The Cardinals can backdate Ellis' DL stint to March 27, which makes him eligible to come off as early as April 11. In the meantime, Kozma will remain on the big league roster as a backup infielder.
"It's just something that's got to heal and get better for me to be as effective on the field as I can be to help the team win games," Ellis said. "It's one thing to go out there and play hurt, but to help the team win ballgames, it needs to get a little bit better."
Ellis is one of three players who will begin the season on the Cardinals' 15-day DL: Jason Motte continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery, and Jaime Garcia is on a delayed throwing program after dealing with bursitis in his left shoulder early in Spring Training.
Here is a rundown of the Cardinals' official roster:
Pitchers: Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist, Randy Choate, Pat Neshek, Seth Maness, Keith Butler
Catchers Yadier Molina, Tony Cruz
Infielders: Matt Adams, Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, Kozma
Outfielders: Matt Holliday, Peter Bourjos, Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Shane Robinson
After Minors start, Miller ready for regular season
CINCINNATI -- Shelby Miller joined the Cardinals in Cincinnati on Saturday evening after throwing an estimated 70 pitches in a Triple-A game at spring camp. The start was Miller's fifth and final of the spring and puts him on schedule to start for the Cardinals in Friday's series opener against the Pirates.
"I threw well," Miller said a day after the outing. "Curveball was great. My fastball command was excellent."
Miller allowed one run on six hits and a walk in four innings. He struck out two. Three of those hits, Miller said, came in succession during his final inning of work -- all on a cutter that Miller said was having a tough time breaking in windy conditions.
Conversely, Miller described his curveball as the best it has been this spring.
"I figured my grip out and got my arm where I wanted it to be," Miller said. "That pitch is coming along way better."
In his four Grapefruit League starts, Miller allowed nine earned runs on 12 hits in 13 2/3 innings. He walked six and struck out 13.
• Motte estimated that he threw 20-25 pitches in a simulated game on Saturday at the Cardinals' Florida complex. He said afterward that it "went well" and that he hopes that his next outing against hitters will come in an extended spring game. That could come as early as Tuesday.
• Lynn is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday, his second such session during an extended layoff between his final spring start and his regular-season debut. Lynn will pitch the series finale in Cincinnati on Thursday.
• The Cardinals held a one-hour workout at Great American Ball Park on Sunday after enjoying an off-day on Saturday. Manager Mike Matheny said he plans to hold a similar short workout when the team is off on Tuesday.
• FOX Sports Midwest is offering more than 16 hours of Cardinals programming on Monday. It will include replays of three games last season, a pregame show from the network's new studio in Ballpark Village and the live telecast of the Cardinals' season opener (watch the game on MLB.TV).
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.