Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 8/15/12
ST. LOUIS The Cardinals will move rookie starter Joe Kelly to the bullpen when left-hander Jaime Garcia returns to make his first start in two months Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Manager Mike Matheny confirmed the expected decision to reporters before Wednesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kelly, 24, went 3-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 12 starts with the Cardinals since being promoted from Triple-A to fill Garcia's spot in the rotation on June 10. He allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his 12 starts and two earned or less in all but four games. Garcia made his fourth rehab start Tuesday night for Triple-A Memphis while Kelly allowed two runs in 6 13 innings against the Diamondbacks the same night. Garcia allowed two runs on four hits in five innings and declared himself ready to rejoin the big league club. Kelly, a former closer in college, has already surpassed his career high in innings pitched and a move to the bullpen to finish out the season will help the Cardinals manage his workload. Lance Lynn is also approaching his career high in innings and has struggled of late, posting a 5.43 ERA in his last ten games. Some wondered whether or not the Cardinals might move Lynn back to the bullpen instead, but Matheny confirmed Wednesday that Kelly was the odd man out. Garcia has been on the shelf with a left shoulder strain. He was 3-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 11 starts before landing on the disabled list. Sunday's start will be a big one for Garcia and the Cardinals, who enter Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks just one game behind the Pirates for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
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