ST. LOUIS -- By optioning left-hander Tyler Lyons to Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday, the Cardinals have taken him out of the starting mix for the team's upcoming series in Pittsburgh.
Manager Mike Matheny indicated over the weekend that the organization planned to keep Lyons in the rotation and not use the upcoming off-day on Thursday to skip any of the starters' spots. That plan, though, is now being revised.
Barring an injury to someone, the Cardinals cannot add Lyons back to the roster until Sept. 3, the day after the Triple-A regular season ends. The Cardinals could slot Lyons in to pitch that Tuesday by starting Joe Kelly on Sunday and Adam Wainwright on Monday. Because of the off-day, both Kelly and Wainwright would still be pitching on normal days' rest.
If the Cardinals instead choose to stick with a five-man rotation, Carlos Martinez or Michael Wacha would have to slide in for a start on Sunday. Asked to clarify the club's rotation intent, Matheny simply offered that "everything is always an option."
After finding out about the Cardinals' roster move on Tuesday, Lyons remained at the ballpark to participate in pregame work with the club. Though he won't be pitching in Memphis over the next week, Lyons could still report to Triple-A to get his side work in with that club before being added back to the big league roster.
If Lyons were to pitch next Tuesday, he'd be facing the same Cincinnati team that he pitched against on Monday. Lyons allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks in five innings in that start. He struck out a career-best seven, including Joey Votto twice.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.