August 27: Reds (74-58) @ Cardinals (77-54)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Cardinals added to their bullpen on Tuesday by calling up reliever Fernando Salas and optioning Tyler Lyons to Triple-A. The move means that Lyons will not pitch on Sunday, as initially scheduled. The Cardinals will likely use Thursday’s off day to shrink down to a four-man rotation, which would mean Joe Kelly would come back on normal rest to pitch Sunday. The Cardinals would then not need a fifth starter until next Tuesday.

Players optioned to the Minors typically have to remain there for a minimum of 10 days. But with the Triple-A season ending on Monday, players on that roster can be recalled to the Majors at any point afterward. That means Lyons can return on Tuesday, which would be that day the Cardinals again need a fifth starter.

The organization’s other option would be to plug Michael Wacha or Carlos Martinez into the rotation in place of Lyons. If the Cardinals do this, they could just stick with a five-man rotation and not use the off day to skip a spot. Manager Mike Matheny was evasive this afternoon when asked about the team’s immediate plans, so he offered no clarity to these scenarios.

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. Daniel Descalso (SS)
  9. Joe Kelly (RHP)

REDS LINEUP:

  1. Shin-soo Choo (CF)
  2. Todd Frazier (3B)
  3. Joey Votto (1B)
  4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
  5. Jay Bruce (RF)
  6. Ryan Ludwick (LF)
  7. Devin Mesoraco (C)
  8. Zack Cozart (SS)
  9. Mat Latos (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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