Matheny says Cardinals 'getting close' to needing to pick fifth starter -

Matheny says Cardinals 'getting close' to needing to pick fifth starter

JUPITER, Fla. – Cardinals manager Mike Matheny admitted Wednesday afternoon that a decision likely needs to be made soon on who their fifth starter will be.

Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly are competing for the final spot in the Cardinals rotation and as the games on the spring schedule begin to dwindle, the remaining innings need to go to build up the starter they plan to go with.

“We’re getting close,” Matheny said of needing to make a decision. “Yeah, we’re getting close.”

Asked about running out of available innings for the pitchers to build up their arm strength, Matheny said, “No question as we start stretching them out next time through, certainly. If you try to do it, you’re going to have two guys splitting the game so how are we going to get our bullpen guys in? We’ll just keep watching. It’s a good problem.”

Rosenthal pitched two scoreless innings Wednesday in relief and then had a meeting with Matheny and pitching coach Derek Lilliquist afterwards. The manager declined to say what the topic was.

 “We were just seeing where he was going to dinner,” Matheny said. “We talk to all these guys. If something comes up we want to make sure that they hear it.”

The two that are not selected as the fifth starter could move to the bullpen or start the year in the rotation at Triple-A Memphis.

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