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St. Louis Cardinals Make 2012 TV Debut Vs. New York Mets

The St. Louis Cardinals will make their television debut Tuesday at noon when they take on a New York Mets split-squad team on and, eventually, MLB Network. Fans brave enough to tune into baseball at its spring training roughest will be rewarded with a chance to see Jake Westbrook and Maikel Cleto pitch, with Matt Holliday and David Freese in the lineup from the A-team.

Ryan Jackson, starting at shortstop, is the most interesting B-teamer to watch. Drafted in 2009 as an all-glove shortstop who wasn’t expected to hit enough to reach the majors, he’s maintained his otherworldly reputation on defense while proving adequate with the bat at all minor league stops through AA Springfield. 24 years old, he could factor into a playing-time split with the various second-base candidates should Rafael Furcal get hurt and remains the team’s only in-house option to replace Furcal after 2014, when his contract runs out.

Also, Shane Robinson will be leading off and playing center field, if you like that sort of thing. At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Derrick Goold has the full lineup.