Cardinals waiting to pick Saturday starter

Cardinals waiting to pick Saturday starter

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals appear likely to wait until the final hours before selecting their starter for Saturday, as that decision will hinge largely upon how much work various pitchers get in the coming days.

The club finds itself with a starting pitching shortage after Monday's 15-2 debacle. Jaime Garcia, who had just moved back into the rotation, lasted one inning. Behind him, former starters Michael Wacha and Luke Weaver combined to allow 12 runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Each could be on the short list to start against Pittsburgh in the Cardinals' penultimate game of the regular season. However, Monday's performance did not engender much confidence in any of the three.

"We're just going to have to wait and see," manager Mike Matheny said on Tuesday. "It's not like there's a mystery pitcher that we go grab. You guys see what we've got. Speculate away and you're probably not far off."

The likeliest scenario is the Cardinals turn Saturday into a bullpen game. With 14 relievers, they can sub pitchers in and out to cover nine innings without having to rely on one for an extended appearance. Which reliever will draw the start and how many would be available will depend upon usage until then.

"I think the best way for us to think about Saturday is after Friday," general manager John Mozeliak said. "Because right now, every day matters. And to try and worry about what we're going to look like five days from now, I don't know how relevant that is. In other words, you have to worry about tonight. Clearly, you're scoreboard watching at this point. And how things unfold will dictate how you prepare for that game."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.