The infielder, called up from Triple-A Iowa on Monday, was in the Cubs' starting lineup against the Braves for his first Major League start. He did get an at-bat Monday night in the eighth and lined out to second base.
It may have been an out, but Cardenas was happy that he was patient.
"Being able to take that second pitch for a ball, being down in the count, was the big at-bat," Cardenas said. "It showed that I was calm. It was not only that I took it, but it was the way I took it. That was a small positive out of that at-bat. I was able to foul a good curve off."
Cardenas started at second base in place of Darwin Barney, who was 6-for-41 in his last 12 games.
"He's just kind of in one of those things where the backside is shutting down, and he's probably getting caught and not ready to hit and thinking too much," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Barney. "It's just a matter of getting in there and knocking the [stuff] out of the ball instead of worrying about mechanics."
Cardenas impressed Sveum and the Cubs with his at-bats during Spring Training. He hit .319 at Iowa. Now, he's in the big leagues.
"I don't think [the butterflies] will completely diminish," Cardenas said, "but I ask myself whenever I start getting nervous if I've prepared, and if the answer is a yes and that I've prepared, then [the butterflies] subside a little. I'll definitely be doing a lot of that."