ST. LOUIS -- Needing insurance in the bullpen and wanting to keep their starters pitching every fifth day, the Cardinals will skip the fifth spot in the rotation and have Adam Wainwright, not Tyler Lyons, pitch Friday's series opener in Chicago.
Friday would have normally been Lyons' turn to pitch, and as recently as Sunday, manager Mike Matheny indicated that the club expected him to make that start. Since then, however, the Cardinals watched as Wainwright had no recurring issues with a hyperextended knee and found themselves needing Lyons available in the 'pen.
Since pitching on Friday, reliever Kevin Siegrist has been sidelined with back tightness. Though Matheny said Siegrist will likely be available, if needed, beginning on Tuesday, he likes the idea of having another left-hander ready in the bullpen. That's Lyons, who came on in relief of Lance Lynn on Tuesday vs. the Brewers.
By rolling the rotation order sans the fifth spot, the Cardinals won't need that extra starter again until May 6.
"We'll get through one time, see how everybody is doing and reevaluate at that point," Matheny said. "He's going to get work one way or another. At some point, we'll have to refresh him with a good bullpen [session on the side]. But until that point, we have an opportunity to use him."
By skipping Lyons this next time through the rotation, the Cardinals will start Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn in the weekend series against the Cubs.
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.