Time is ticking down for decision on Cards fifth starter
St. Louis Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller holds a baseball while posing during the team's photo day at spring training baseball, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 in Jupiter, Fla. . (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) By Julio Cortez
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 24: Joe Kelly #58 of the St.Louis Cardinals throws a pitch during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 24, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) By Andy Lyons
JUPITER, Fla. (BaseballSTL) -- If you do the math, there isn’t a whole lot of time left for the Cardinals to make a decision on who’s going to be the 5th starter in the rotation this season between Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller.
Following today, they’re on pace to have this spot come up again on Monday but that’s it. There’s only four more games left in spring after that and those, presumably, would go to Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook as they build up their pitch count for the year.
So whoever is going to be the fifth starter, at some point, needs to get a chance to build up his pitch count as well. It would make sense for them to decide by next Monday and have that person (whether it’s Kelly or Miller) pitch several innings in Fort Myers that day.
But Mike Matheny says that’s not necessarily the case.
“We’ll take today, see what we see, and we’ll be closer to making some decisions after we take today,” Matheny said.
If the Cardinals choose, they could skip the fifth starter the first time through the rotation to start the year because of off days. In that scenario, they wouldn’t necessarily be in as much of a rush to have that person build up their pitch count.
Either way, Matheny says he’s thrilled the competition between these two has been so intense.
“Not to have someone who’s gone far and away with it, I’d say that’s a great compliment to both of them and they’ve been able to keep this very close,” Matheny said.