Friday, April 19, 2013

Coming soon: A 26th man on the Cards' roster

Jake Westbrook's less-than-stellar outing was washed away along with the rest of the game when the rains came down in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.  The makeup date hasn't been officially scheduled yet, but according to my somewhat certain memory of a source that I think I might've seen on twitter, the makeup will occur during the Cards' next series at PNC Park.

The four-game set against the Bucs will be July 29th through August 1st, a Monday through Thursday series.  All four of these games are scheduled for 6:05 St. Louis time, with the before/after games being Sunday @ ATL at 1:35 (CDT) and Friday @CIN at 7:10pm Central.  I'd guess Tuesday or Wednesday would be the twinbill.

Last year, Major League Baseball made a slight modification to the rules for situations just like this.  When a double-header is scheduled at least 48 hours ahead of time, teams are now allowed to expand the roster to 26, to allow for an extra starting pitcher for that game.  In the past, managers had to deal with starting rotations that weren't getting their normal rest, and had to juggle rotation spots, burn a long man out of the 'pen, or some other creative solution to try to keep the team's arms in a good situation, and keep the team out of trouble.

When these two teams square off at PNC again this summer, it won't be Clint Hurdle's first time with "the 26th man" on the roster.  Last year, there was a rainout between these Pirates and the Colorado Rockies (who were snowed out earlier this week!), and both teams took advantage of the new rule.  About last year's situation, Pirates GM, Neal Huntington was quoted as saying, "If it's a one-day stay, you can bring them up and (send them) back."  He added, "Having an extra arm gives you the flexibility to cover 18 innings in one day."

No matter how it shakes out, it might be an opportunity to see one of the young arms we've heard so much about recently from the Cardinals minor league system.  Let your imagination run wild:  Martinez?  Gast?  Wacha??

Only time, Mo, and Matheny will tell.

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