Cardinals unlikely to give starters extra rest

Cardinals unlikely to give starters extra rest

CINCINNATI -- Despite giving earlier consideration to building in extra rest for certain starters over these last few weeks of the season, the Cardinals appear to have backed away from such plans, at least for as long as the club has meaningful regular-season games left to play.

"Last time we tried to give them rest, it wasn't overly welcomed and we haven't had great results from it," general manager John Mozeliak said on Sunday. "Not to say that makes it the wrong answer, but I think now with three weeks remaining, if we need them to start, they're going to start."

Earlier this month, the Cardinals pushed back starts for Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn and Carlos Martinez. Lynn was coming off a mild ankle injury, though he was insistent he could go on normal rest. With Wacha and Martinez -- neither of whom carried a full starter's load last season -- the Cardinals had been looking for ways to conserve innings.

However, with the extra days off, the three combined to cover just 11 1/3 innings and were knocked around for 20 hits and 16 earned runs. Lynn was especially peeved by the alteration, noting after his 2 1/3-inning start on Sept. 7 that he had been negatively affected by the extra rest.

The Cardinals will make another four turns through their rotation following this series in Cincinnati. Should the club lock up a division title with days left on the schedule, the Cardinals may then look to alter their pitching plans.

Worth noting

• Sensing continuing fatigue issues for Jhonny Peralta, Matheny kept the shortstop out of the lineup for a second straight game Sunday. Peralta's production has tailed off considerably since his strong first half. Over his last 16 games, Peralta has just eight hits (none for extra bases) in 53 at-bats.

"We're trying to get Jhonny some rest," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think that's going to pay off. We're trying to get all these guys into a place where they feel good about themselves."

• Mired in an 0-for-23 skid, Brandon Moss was also out of the lineup on Sunday. Moss has struck out 12 times during that stretch, including in his last six at-bats.

• A day after Major League Baseball handed catcher Cody Stanley an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Mozeliak said he was still unsure whether Stanley would return to the organization after serving his time.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.