FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Matt Carpenter, long one of the most versatile players on the Cardinals, is focusing on one spot this spring.
Carpenter made starts at first base, second base, third base, left field and right field in 2012. His offensive skills ensured that the Cardinals were always looking for a way to get the left-handed hitter into the lineup. This year, though, Carpenter's getting all the chances he can at second base, where there's a chance he could be the regular.
Tuesday's 15-4 win over the Red Sox was his second start at the keystone this spring. The Cardinals like what they've seen -- Carpenter looks less and less like he has to think about what he's doing. Instead, he just does it.
"He looks more reactive," manager Mike Matheny said. "He does. I know he's thinking. He's got a lot going on. It's the repetitions that have served him well. He's taken so many repetitions that I'm seeing a couple things just happen."
After getting treatment on knee, Adams goes deep
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Matt Adams, who is ranked as the Cardinals' No. 8 prospect by MLB.com, had an awfully long day on Tuesday. He's not complaining.
Adams showed up at the Cardinals' facility early in the morning for treatment on his left knee, which had been bothering him in the early part of Grapefruit League play. When that went well, Adams was notified that he would be on the Cards' bus to Fort Myers for a game against the Red Sox.
Even when Adams got to JetBlue Park, though, it wasn't a lock that he would play. Adams wasn't in the starting lineup, and he still needed to come through some more workouts.
After those went well, manager Mike Matheny inserted Adams in the game as a pinch-hitter. Adams hit a towering home run to straightaway center and followed that with a bases-loaded walk in St. Louis' 15-4 thrashing of Boston.
"He's got a nice stroke working right now," Matheny said. "Don't want to leave him in too long, though."
Adams is competing for a job on the Cardinals' bench. He hit .244 with a .286 on-base percentage, a .384 slugging percentage and two home runs in a brief cameo with St. Louis as a rookie in 2012.
Shoulder better, Miller to face Nats on Saturday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shelby Miller will be back in action very soon.
The Cardinals' No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com, recently sidelined with soreness in the area of his right shoulder, faced hitters on Monday with no ill effects. As a result, he's scheduled to make his 2013 Grapefruit League game debut on Saturday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.
"He's all good to go," manager Mike Matheny said.
Miller is one turn behind the other starters competing for a job in the Cardinals' rotation, but Matheny said Miller has definitely not lost enough ground to be at a disadvantage in the competition. Miller will likely throw two innings or approximately 40 pitches.
"He's got plenty of time," Matheny said. "He didn't lose anything."
Miller is competing with Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal for a spot in the starting five, behind Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia. Lance Lynn is all but certain to have a fourth spot, leaving the other three youngsters for the final opening.
Broadcaster Taguchi catches up with former club
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- One of the most popular Cardinals of recent years dropped by to see his old team on Tuesday.
Outfielder So Taguchi, who played for St. Louis from 2002-07, retired last year at the age of 43. He spent the last years of his career in Japan after playing in the United States through '09, winning World Series rings with both the Cardinals ('06) and Phillies ('08).
He's now beginning a job with NHK television in Japan, where he will serve as a studio analyst for Major League Baseball games. Taguchi and his crew visited a variety of camps in Florida before heading to Arizona. He was greeted warmly by several members of the Cardinals' organization, as well as by Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, his teammate in Philadelphia.
Taguchi may be best known to Cardinals fans for his home run in Game 2 of the 2006 National League Championship Series. He and his family live in Kobe, Japan.
• Matheny said Tuesday that shortstop Rafael Furcal felt no ill effects after swinging a bat left-handed on Monday.
• Rookie Oscar Taveras had three hits on Tuesday after going 1-for-6 over the first three games of the spring.
• Ryan Jackson got a start at first base on Tuesday, and he used Matt Carpenter's mitt to play the position.
• The Red Sox observed a moment of silence prior to Tuesday's game in honor of Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who died in January.
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.