The Cardinals intend to use a minor-league pitcher to fill in next week for injured starter Joe Kelly and leave aspiring starter Carlos Martinez and the under-construction bullpen undisturbed.
That plan could change if Kelly’s absence is longer than expected.
“If we needed somebody for an extended period of time, it would make sense to give (Martinez) the ball,” manager Mike Matheny said Thursday afternoon. “You’d be looking at stretching him out (now) just to slow him back down again. … If we knew this was something we knew was going to create a spot for a long time, we would definitely take that into consideration. Right now we’re going to stick with our ’pen how it is.”
The Cardinals placed Kelly on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a hamstring strain, a slight tear of the muscle in his left leg. Kelly returned to St. Louis on Thursday to be evaluated by team doctors. Kelly left Wednesday’s game after pitching four innings with a hamstring injury he sustained trying to le...