Cards confirm rotation vs. D-backs

Cards confirm rotation vs. D-backs

HOUSTON -- Manager Tony La Russa confirmed on Friday that Joel Pineiro will start for the Cardinals on Monday, with Adam Wainwright getting an extra day between starts thanks to the Cardinals' recent off-day.

Pineiro last started on Aug. 16. With a run of off-days in the schedule over the past two weeks, St. Louis scaled back to a four-man starting rotation, and Pineiro was the odd man out. He made two relief appearances in the interim, and threw a bullpen session on Friday afternoon.

The Cards had a choice where to slot Pineiro back in, and they elected to wait until three of the other four starters got a turn, but before Wainwright. Bumping Wainwright back by a day gives some protection to a pitcher who missed more than two months due to injury, but it also takes Wainwright off a trajectory that would have had him starting twice against the Cubs.

He's still likely to see Chicago once, but not in both the remaining series between the two rivals.

"The way he's throwing, he can pitch against anybody," La Russa said. "But we need wins against everybody."

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