Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Time Growing Short for Cards' Bowman

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Time Growing Short for Cards' Bowman

Article excerpt

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. * When the Cardinals selected him in the Rule 5 draft this past December, Matt Bowman purposefully avoided perusing the roster, preferring to go in blind to the possible roles he might fill.

The calendar is harder to ignore.

Almost halfway into the Cardinals' exhibition schedule, Bowman made only his third appearance of spring Wednesday. The righthander had his first appearance delayed when he missed five days because a baseball bruised his left eye during a fielding drill. With fewer games and starters pitching more innings, Bowman's opportunity to audition is limited.

"I'm aware these outings are important," Bowman said. "I don't expect they'll cut me before they need to. Anything more it is really important to what I'm going to try and show that I get on the mound. I have to go and try to make it count."

In one inning of work Wednesday, Bowman allowed four runs on five hits and lost a three-run lead for the Cardinals. The Cardinals rallied for an 8-8 tie against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium on the Disney World grounds. Manager Mike Matheny softened Bowman's line by suggesting the righthander got the ground balls he wanted they were just well-struck and slipped through where the Cardinals did not have fielders. Six of the balls put in play against Bowman were on the ground. Another was a line drive snared by shortstop Aledmys Diaz, and another was a laced double.

In three appearances this spring, Bowman has allowed eight runs and 13 hits in five innings.

"We need to make a priority to get him in when we can," Matheny said before Wednesday's game. "We'll get him his work. We just have to get creative."

As a Rule 5 selection, Bowman must remain on the Cardinals' 25- man active roster for the full season for them to gain control of his rights. If, at any time, they remove him from the active roster and he's not on the disabled list, he must pass through waivers and then, if cleared, return to the New York Mets. The Cardinals took Bowman in the draft believing he could serve as a swing man for the bullpen, a role manned last year by Carlos Villanueva.

This spring the return of Jonathan Broxton, arrival of Seung Hwan Oh and health of Jordan Walden have stacked the bullpen with one- inning setup types. As Matheny and his coaches plotted the pitching assignments for Wednesday's game, they weren't sure an inning would be available for Bowman because Broxton, Trevor Rosenthal and Kevin Siegrist were the priorities. …

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