Cardinals' Francisco Pena: Still in contention for backup role
Pena (oblique), who went 0-for-3 and threw out a runner in his return to the lineup against the Nationals on Saturday, remains in contention for the backup catcher role, Alyson Footer of MLB.com reports.
The fact Pena returned to action Saturday after an 11-day absence still gives manager Mike Shildt a few games to evaluate him before a final decision, one which the skipper said will be made "within a week." Pena had gone 5-for-14 with three RBI over five Grapefruit League games before his injury, so he'd put together a solid body of work that helped him maintain his candidacy during his absence. Notably, both Pena and Matt Wieters are in the same boat with respect to their contracts -- both have opt-out clauses in their minor-league deals that would allow them to become free agents if they don't make the Opening Day roster.
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