August 17: Cardinals (68-52) @ Cubs (53-69)

By Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Another day, another roster move. Sam Freeman packed up his belongings yesterday and is headed back to Triple-A Memphis after a week-long stay. Taking his place on the Cardinals’ pitching staff is left-hander Tyler Lyons, who is now up for the third time this year. Lyons last pitched on Aug. 10, so he can immediately give the Cardinals length out of a bullpen that has had to cover 18 innings over the last four days.

By my count, this marks the 14th time since the All-Star break that the Cardinals have called up a player from Triple-A (not including DL activations). The carousel of pitching moves, in particular, has to do with more with workload/circumstances than it does with effectiveness. With the starters not pitching as deep as regularly AND a few recent extra inning games AND the lack of off days the team has during the second half of the season, the Cardinals’ bullpen has not had much of a chance to collect its collective breath.

Also, manager Mike Matheny has not addressed the media yet today, but you have to wonder if the addition of Lyons indicates an impending change in the rotation. If the Cardinals wanted to unplug struggling Jake Westbrook from the rotation, they could slide Michael Wacha into his spot next Wednesday.

UPDATE: Scratch that speculation. Matheny said Westbrook will start, as scheduled, on Wednesday. Wacha remains in the bullpen, where the Cardinals would like to deploy him in high-leverage situations.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Matt Carpenter (2B)
  2. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Allen Craig (1B)
  5. Yadier Molina (C)
  6. David Freese (3B)
  7. Jon Jay (CF)
  8. Pete Kozma (SS)
  9. Joe Kelly (RHP)

CUBS LINEUP:

  1. David Dejesus (CF)
  2. Junior Lake (LF)
  3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
  4. Nate Schierholtz (RF)
  5. Welington Castillo (C)
  6. Donnie Murphy (3B)
  7. Starlin Castro (SS)
  8. Darwin Barney (2B)
  9. Travis Wood (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

1 Comment

We need a shortstop.

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