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Decision looming for Cards' rotation opening

Decision looming for Cards' rotation opening play video for Decision looming for Cards' rotation opening

SAN DIEGO -- The Cardinals took advantage of a recent cluster of off-days to utilize a four-man rotation out of the All-Star break. That will have to end Saturday, however, when the Cardinals will once again need a fifth starter.

Manager Mike Matheny noted on Tuesday that the additional starter could still come from one of three places -- the bullpen, the Minors or outside the organization. The latter would have to happen before the 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline passes on Thursday, but it's one of the reasons why Matheny is refraining from naming a Saturday starter just four days out.

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"There are a lot of things in play, so I don't want to make any statement one way or the other," Matheny said. "We'll wait and see how it plays out."

That Saturday start will be an important one, too, as it will come against the National League Central-leading Brewers. Adam Wainwright is in line to start to the series opener.

If the Cardinals do not deal for a starting pitcher, they'll have limited options for Saturday. Carlos Martinez would be one, though the club unplugged him from the rotation after some recent struggles. Though available out of the bullpen, Martinez hasn't pitched since his July 20 start. His availability could also be affected if the Cardinals need him in relief in San Diego.

With Tyler Lyons starting for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday, he would not be a candidate for a callup. Lefty Tim Cooney, who is 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA in four starts, would likely get the summons if the Cardinals need to go that route.

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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