Pineiro's return to shuffle rotation

Pineiro's return to shuffle rotation

HOUSTON -- Joel Pineiro is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday, but the Cardinals remain coy about what comes after that for the right-hander.

Pineiro's start was moved from a home game with Double-A Springfield to a road game with Triple-A Memphis, and he'll start at New Orleans on Tuesday. The question, though, is what comes next. Pineiro hopes to return to the active roster for his following start, which would be Sunday against the Giants in San Francisco.

That would slot him in place of Brad Thompson, who starts for the Cardinals on Tuesday in Houston. Thompson won the fifth spot in the Cardinals' rotation this spring, but it's somewhat in question as to whether Thompson or Todd Wellemeyer would be the pitcher pushed to the bullpen in favor of Pineiro.

As a result of that uncertainty, it might make sense to go one more time through the rotation, giving both Thompson and Wellemeyer one more game for evaluation. But manager Tony La Russa isn't tipping his hand as to his plan. La Russa said the team will wait until after the Tuesday game to make a determination.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.