The preliminaries are over. The fundamentals that were taught, or reviewed, will be covered again at a later date this spring. The next step, the first of 32 exhibition games, will come today against, surprise, the Miami Marlins, who will provide the opposition for fully one-quarter of those scrimmages.

What have we learned so far from Cardinals camp?

First, it appears that lefthander Jaime Garcia, oft troubled by a left shoulder tear last year, is as fit as he is going to be, with his first test to come Tuesday at Fort Myers, Fla., against Boston.

Second, it appears that shortstop Rafael Furcal, troubled by a ligament tear in his right elbow suffered late last season and now a bone spur this spring, is quite a distance away from being able to make the long, hard throws that are a necessity at his position.

“We’ll take what we can get when we can get it,” said manager Mike Matheny, “and realize that last year he was on an adjusted program also. It’s going to be one of these things you ask me about every day and I’m going to give you the same answer. We’re going to listen to him and we’re going to watch.”

Third, righthander Trevor Rosenthal, who will start today’s first exhibition, appears to have the jump on Shelby Miller for the remaining rotation spot. Rosenthal has been sharp. Miller has had a tight shoulder which, while not serious, will put him a week or so behind Rosenthal. Joe Kelly’s start also is imminent.

Fourth, it appears that righthander Carlos Martinez, a non-roster pitcher but highly thought of, might be sent back to the minor-league complex even before he arrives. Martinez has been caught up in a work visa problem in his native Dominican Republic and is two weeks late.