Matheny keeps close tabs on relievers' workloads

Matheny keeps close tabs on relievers' workloads

Matheny keeps close tabs on relievers' workloads
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals had just about every available reliever warm up during their 12-inning win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night, but only three guys -- Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte and Fernando Salas -- left the bullpen.

Even if they don't enter the game, warming up in preparation to do so can sometimes be enough work for his relievers to leave manager Mike Matheny with a short list of available arms the next day.

"There's going to be certain days, and today might be one of them, where we have guys that are off limits," Matheny said before Thursday's series finale against Los Angeles. "They're still one pitch away from game speed, so they know they have to be ready. You can't go into that halfway. It's a fine line to walk."

Matheny mentioned Boggs, who's made nine appearances this month, and left-handers Barret Browning and Marc Rzepczynski as those who have been called on to warm up almost daily lately. The Cardinals did however add a fresh left-hander to the equation in veteran Brian Fuentes, who had his Minor League contract purchased by St. Louis on Wednesday.

Matheny said he and the coaching staff will often go into the game knowing that certain relievers will need a day to rest. They'll keep that in mind while trying to determine matchups.

"So far, we've just been using whoever gives us the best chance to win and just going in knowing that this guy's probably off limits," Matheny said. "It's kind of the game plan ahead of time."

Motte's been one to routinely warm up without making an appearance. The closer has appeared in seven games this month, but he doesn't mind the intermittent outings.

"It's just part of the game. That's the way it is," Motte said. "I don't complain if I haven't pitched in a while and I don't complain if I've been up there throwing four days in a row. It's just the way the game is."