Cards coy about upcoming pitching plans

Cards coy about upcoming pitching plans

WASHINGTON -- The Cardinals have settled on a starter for Monday's series opener against the Mets, but manager Mike Matheny said on Saturday that the team is not yet ready to announce its choice.

Every indication is still that the organization will summon starting help from Triple-A Memphis -- rather than unplugging Carlos Martinez from the bullpen -- and that spot starter will join the club in New York on the day of his start. That would be Tyler Lyons' next scheduled day to pitch for Memphis, making him a likely candidate to slide into the big league rotation for an injured Joe Kelly.

The Cardinals will need a minimum of two starts from another fifth starter while Kelly recovers from a left hamstring strain. He won't be eligible to come off the disabled list until May 2 at the earliest.

Asked why the organization was not yet comfortable announcing its pitching plans, Matheny cited the potential for distraction. In calling up a pitcher from Triple-A, the club will have to make a corresponding roster move. The expectation is that one of the two relievers brought up on Thursday -- Eric Fornataro or Jorge Rondon -- will be the one sent out to create that space.

"I don't want them to look over their shoulders," Matheny said. "I just want them to worry about playing and not having a plan already in place. I just don't see the necessity of it. Now, I understand the fact that the Mets need to know and we'll give them that information as soon as we can. But we need to make sure we're doing what's right for our club, our guys, first."

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.