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Starters set for at least six days' rest after break

Starters set for at least six days' rest after break

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Starters set for at least six days' rest after break

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have settled on a rotation order coming out of the All-Star break that will give all four starters at least six days of rest and will, at least temporarily, bump Joe Kelly back into a relief role.

Manager Mike Matheny announced Wednesday that Jake Westbrook will start the first game of the second half. Lance Lynn and Adam Wainwright will follow Westbrook against San Diego. That schedule gives Westbrook a full week of rest, while Lynn and Wainwright will each get six days off.

Though the Cardinals had the option of bringing Wainwright back on normal rest to pitch the first game back on July 19, the Cardinals instead chose to give their ace the extra time.

"Everybody else in the league gets a break," Matheny said. "Why not take our horse and give him a couple extra as well?"

An off-day follows that series against the Padres, meaning that Shelby Miller's next start will come on July 23. The Cardinals have been open about protecting Miller from too great of a workload, and this schedule helps in that. Miller will have 12 days between starts. He will be put on a throwing program during that break.

"He's going to have to do a little something," Matheny said. "We haven't put together the exact plan, but Shelby has never been in a situation like this. We'll put together a plan for him where hopefully he can stay sharp and hopefully get some rest at the same time."

The Cardinals will not need a fifth starter until July 27, and they will not determine who will take that fifth spot until closer to that date. Even if it is Kelly, he will be available in the Cardinals' bullpen for at least their first series after the break.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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