Outlook: Rosenthal has stuff to be elite saves pick

JUPITER, Fla. -- Trevor Rosenthal stopped his live batting-practice session a few pitches early due to a right groin strain on Tuesday, but he said afterward that he does not expect the issue to sideline him for long.

Rosenthal called trainer Greg Hauck and manager Mike Matheny over near the end of his throwing session to alert them to the discomfort. Rosenthal said he wanted to make the staff aware, because he had never before experienced tightness in that area.

"If it was during the season, I feel like it would be something not worth stopping [for]," Rosenthal said. "With the situation being now, I just thought I would say something. I felt it once, so I said something as soon as I could."

He had been scheduled to throw 25 pitches and did come close to that number before leaving the field with Hauck. Rosenthal spent time in the trainer's room to ice an area of his leg that he described as "the meat of the muscle" and to undergo treatment.

"Our approach right now is going to be day to day," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I do feel like this is caught early enough that it probably avoided anything more serious."

The Cardinals had not announced when Rosenthal, who has already been tapped as the team's closer, is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League start. Even if this were to keep the right-hander off the mound for a few days, he still has plenty of time to get his necessary innings in before the regular season opens.

Rosenthal did offer an encouraging report on his arm, however, noting that "everything felt great."

"It's a progression," he said, "so it felt better than last time."

Cards, Garcia seek second opinion on lefty's shoulder

Mozeliak talks about Garcia's left shoulder issues

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals are delaying comment on the results of Jaime Garcia's exam with team physician George Paletta until after the left-hander visits orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion on Wednesday.

Garcia, who underwent an MRI on his left shoulder in St. Louis on Monday, requested the additional consultation with Andrews before seeing Paletta. General manager John Mozeliak was briefed by Paletta about the results of Monday's exam, and while he declined to share details, Mozeliak did note that "early indications have been encouraging."

"Rather than say one thing today and change tomorrow, I'd rather get both reports and then go from there and decide after we have time to also meet with Jaime and decide what the next step is," Mozeliak said. "Based on the MRI and everything, we feel good. But I would like to see what the other doctor has to say and go from there."

Garcia has met with Andrews twice before for shoulder discomfort. In October 2012, Andrews suggested that Garcia address the issue with a rest and rehab program. The following May, Andrews recommended surgery to repair a tear to the rotator cuff and labrum.

Garcia took Andrews' advice in both instances, which led him to having a season-ending procedure last May. His rehab work went without a hitch, and Garcia reported to Spring Training encouraged by how well he felt. That relief lasted only three bullpen sessions, however, as Garcia then notified the staff of shoulder soreness and subsequently shut his throwing program down one week ago.

The Cardinals, regardless of the recommended course of action for Garcia, are moving forward with the expectation that Garcia will not be available for the season opener. What Wednesday's consultation should do, however, is help clarify how long Garcia's absence could be.

"I think right now his situation is first to determine health and then you can worry about the next step as far as what this camp means to him," Mozeliak said. "The good news is that we have options, and we certainly feel we have enough depth to handle this if we have to."

Worth noting

• Willie McGee, a special assistant to Mozeliak, has arrived in Florida and spent Tuesday in uniform as a guest instructor for the Cardinals. Though his 18-year playing career ended in 1999, McGee has remained a regular presence in Jupiter, Fla., each spring.

• Matheny said that he expects to announce his early spring rotation plans on Wednesday. Matheny has only confirmed that Carlos Martinez and Tyler Lyons will pitch in Friday's Grapefruit League opener.

Carson Kelly has made enough progress in his conversion from third baseman to catcher that the Cardinals are not ruling out giving him an opportunity to appear in a Grapefruit League game. Kelly, 19, was invited to Major League camp so that he could get additional instruction -- particularly from Matheny and veteran catcher Yadier Molina -- and has opened eyes in the process.

"The camp has been a success for him already with the things that he has been able to do," Matheny said of Kelly, who began the position tranisition in September. "What's probably been as impressive as anything is his willingness to go and learn. He follows Yadi like they're attached at the hip, and that's something that he wanted to do and was endorsed by Yadi. How can you put a price tag on what that means to a young catcher?"