MILWAUKEE -- With Mike Leake still recovering from shingles and now doing so from the 15-day disabled list, rookie right-hander Alex Reyes will remain in a starting spot for at least one more turn through the Cardinals' rotation.
Reyes, who made his first career start on Saturday, will pitch next on Friday, when the Cardinals open a three-game series in Cincinnati. With the shift in roles for the rookie, the Cardinals summoned lefty reliever Dean Kiekhefer from Triple-A Memphis on Monday to fill out their bullpen.
Leake's DL placement was made retroactive to Aug. 22, meaning that he will be eligible to return on Sept. 6. As of now, the Cardinals are unsure whether he'll be healthy and back in baseball shape by that date.
"For us to get him back to the point where he could be on the mound, there is some throwing he's going to have to get back into," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I think it was pretty much inevitable [that he had to go on the DL] because he wasn't really turning the corner -- except it does look better now. It looks like it's getting a little more contained, and his energy level is up. His appetite is better, and things are starting to go in a positive direction for the first time."
The Cardinals could have used Thursday's off-day to reorder their rotation ahead of a critical series in Pittsburgh. Instead, Matheny said he has prioritized getting all five of his starters the extra day of rest. As a result, that sets up Adam Wainwright, Luke Weaver and Reyes to start against the Pirates next week, with Leake as a wild-card option.
Reyes, the Cardinals' No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, pitched 4 2/3 innings in his first Major League start and allowed his first run in 14 big league innings. Improving upon fastball command and efficiency are key for him as he seeks to pitch deeper into games.
Kiekhefer's arrival provides Matheny with an eighth pitcher out of the 'pen, and that extra arm has been needed. Since the All-Star break, the Cardinals' bullpen has been asked to cover 142 2/3 innings, seventh-most in the Majors.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.