Friday, August 30, 2013

Who will get the call to start for the Cardinals on Tuesday?

The Cardinals starting rotation is in a state of flux right now.  As of today we know that Shelby Miller will pitch tonight against the Pirates and that Lance Lynn will pitch tomorrow.  However, beyond that the starters are listed as TBD.

For Sunday, Joe Kelly would normally be the starter, as it would be his turn on normal rest.  However, after his abbreviated outing on Wednesday, when he lasted on 2 innings against the Reds, the Cardinals could decide to bring back Adam Wainwright on short rest to face the Pirates. 

That will likely be determined by how the Cards fare in their first two games against the Buccos.  Lose both of them and Mike Matheny may want to use Wainwright to salvage the final game.  Split the two games or win them both and Matheny may just stick with Kelly.

In either case, we know that Kelly and Wainwright will pitch on Sunday and Monday, we just don't know the order yet.

Which brings us to Tuesday. 

Tyler Lyons made the last start when the Cardinals needed a 5th starter, but recent moves indicate that the team might want to go in another direction.  For one thing, Carlos Martinez was sent to AAA Memphis to stretch out again as a starter, after pitching two innings in relief of Lyons on Monday.  Martinez pitched last night and pitched brilliantly, striking out 9 in 7 innings of one-run ball.  If he follows his normal 4 days of rest, he should be ready to start again on Tuesday.

In addition, the Cardinals optioned Michael Wacha to the minors yesterday, after he pitched 4 innings in relief of Wainwright on Wednesday.  But, instead of optioning him to AAA Memphis, the Cardinals sent him to AA Springfield.  As Springfield's season ends Monday, Wacha is eligible to return on Tuesday (Memphis' season ends on Tuesday, so Wacha would not have been able to return until Wednesday, if he was sent there). 

Thus, it appears that the Cardinals are purposely keeping all of their options open when it comes to Tuesday's starter and, at this point, its anybody's guess who that will be.

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