ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals remain mum on what they plan to do on Thursday, when Justin Masterson's spot in the rotation resurfaces. But the way in which manager Mike Matheny answered questions about who will start that series-opening game in Milwaukee suggested that Masterson is not the leading candidate.
Asked if lefty Marco Gonzales, who earned his first Major League win with a strong six-inning start on Saturday night, would be a contender to make that start, Matheny said, "He's a possibility. Tyler [Lyons is] a possibility. We'll see."
Lyons had preceded Gonzales on the mound and strung together 4 2/3 scoreless innings to close the first game of the doubleheader.
So what about Masterson?
"Justin's a possibility," Matheny added, when it was pointed out that he hadn't mentioned the veteran sinkerball pitcher.
Pressed further about the decision ahead, Matheny was vague in describing the factors the Cardinals are weighing.
"We've talked a lot about this stuff," Matheny said. "It just hasn't been talked about with everybody else, and this isn't the time or place to start making those statements. We just want to put the guy out there that's going to give us the best chance to win. It's going to be how it matches up with other teams and how they look. We'll be willing to make that statement soon, just not right now."
Masterson appears to have pitched himself out of the rotation with a poor first month as a Cardinal. In six starts since being acquired from Cleveland, Masterson posted a 7.90 ERA and allowed opponents to hit him at a .312 clip. He pitched into the sixth inning in only two of his starts.
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.