Pena (oblique) will start behind the plate and bat fifth Saturday in the Cardinals' Grapefruit League game against the Nationals.

The Cardinals' choice to use Pena at catcher rather than as a designated hitter in his first spring action since March 5 implies that he's moved past the left oblique strain that sidelined him for a week and a half. The 29-year-old will face a stiff test in his return with three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer on the bump for Washington.

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