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“We were prepared, we knew what we were trying to accomplish,” Matheny said. “We do what we believe is best for this team so we can go back and sleep at night and realize we did the right thing.”

Among the healthy arms who didn’t make the cut were lefties Sam Freeman and Tyler Lyons. They could have added third catcher Rob Johnson, freeing up backup catcher Tony Cruz as a pretty good bat off the bench.

“Look at Chief’s contribution,” Mozeliak said, using Mujica’s nickname. “I think it would have been very difficult to keep him off.”

The Cardinals know Rosenthal wants to be a starter but they’re loaded in that department with rookie Michael Wacha near the top of the list, right behind 19-game winner Adam Wainwright, coming off a phenomenal postseason. Also in the mix are Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn, along with youngsters Miller and Carlos Martinez, plus Matheny thought Jaime Garcia was almost ready to return from shoulder surgery at the end of the season.

Mozeliak anticipates no offseason surgeries, and believes Craig’s left mid-foot sprain will be healed in about a month.