JUPITER, Fla. -- Matt Adams may not make the Cardinals' Opening Day roster. But if he doesn't, it won't be because he needs more seasoning or everyday playing time.
Manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday that if Adams is the best fit for a bench spot for the 2013 Cards, the slugging first baseman will be on the roster. Adams could provide a potent bench bat for the Redbirds.
"He has nothing else to prove [in the Minor Leagues]," Matheny said. "The guy can hit. It's just a matter of whether he fits in right. It's not a question of whether he can perform at this level. He can hit here or anywhere else. He doesn't really need to show us more."
That contrasts somewhat with the situation of top prospect Oscar Taveras, who likely won't be on the roster if there's not some assurance of at least semi-regular playing time. Taveras has yet to play above Double-A, while Adams has a half-season at Triple-A, as well as 86 regular-season Major League at-bats under his belt.
"He's hit at every level," Matheny said of Taveras. "We know that he can hit. It's just a matter of what will help our team, and also what would keep a player like that ready if we did need him on an everyday basis. We have to balance all those together."
Freese gets day off to rest sore tailbone
JUPITER, Fla. -- David Freese sat out Wednesday's Cardinals' game against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium, still a bit sore from a tumble he took in a game on Monday. Freese and manager Mike Matheny both downplayed the issue, though, with Matheny saying that Freese would be playing if it were the regular season.
Freese hit his tailbone when he fell trying to catch a ball in Monday's game against the Twins. He left the game, and the Cardinals were off on Tuesday.
"I'm all right," he said. "Just a day or two. I got the tailbone on the step, but it's all right. I've got full motion. It's just a contusion."
Daniel Descalso started at third base in Freese's place.
Rzepczynski slated to return Thursday
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals' cadre of walking wounded seems, for the most part, to be progressing.
Reliever Marc Rzepczynski, who has battled left biceps discomfort, is slated to return to the mound on Thursday against the Yankees. Rzepczynski hasn't pitched since Friday. Meanwhile, outfielder Carlos Beltran returned from a bruised right toe to play for Team Puerto Rico in an exhibition game on Wednesday.
Rafael Furcal met with Dr. James Andrews to discuss his injured right elbow on Wednesday, but as of late Wednesday afternoon the club had not heard any word as to the results of that visit. Otherwise, though, the news was mostly good.
And manager Mike Matheny expressed optimism regarding lefty reliever Sam Freeman, who has experienced discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
"Everything structurally came out just fine, which is great news," Matheny said of Freeman. "The way it was explained to me is just some inflammation, so we're going to try and stay on top of it and get him cleared up. They didn't know what they were going to find, but everything came back good."
• Shelby Miller will start the Cardinals' game on Friday against the Nationals in Viera, manager Mike Matheny said on Wednesday.
• Jake Westbrook said he was pleased with his three-inning start on Wednesday, his first game since being hit on the knee by a batted ball on February 28.
• Catcher Rob Johnson earned a $100 gift certificate from the local Burger Bar restaurant when he hit the establishment's sign with his home run in Wednesday's game.
Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.