Cardinals will finally need a sixth starter

For top St. Louis prospect Alex Reyes, who earlier this month pitched in the All-Star Futures Game, the future might be now. Denis Poroy/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS -- Tuesday night’s rainout forced a novel decision on the St. Louis Cardinals. They will have to select a sixth starting pitcher for the first time all season when they play the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball.

The Cardinals are the only team in the major leagues to have used just five starting pitchers thus far. The Chicago Cubs were in the same boat until they used their sixth, fittingly, on July 6, when Adam Warren got the ball.

Because Carlos Martinez’s start was pushed back to Wednesday afternoon, he won’t be on four days’ rest until Monday. Manager Mike Matheny said one possibility is a “bullpen game,” in which either Tyler Lyons or Matt Bowman starts and the rest of the relievers are on standby.

General manager John Mozeliak has discussed the possibility of promoting the team’s top pitching prospect, Alex Reyes, by late July. Reyes is 2-1 with a 4.86 ERA for Triple-A Memphis. He has 67 strikeouts but also 22 walks.

“I hear Alex Reyes a lot, but we haven’t had one conversation about what that’s going to look like quite yet,” Matheny said. “It’s nice that there’s some excitement about some of our younger players. I always like that.”

Most members of the Cardinals’ Triple-A rotation have struggled, but Mike Mayers, who has a 2.49 ERA, and veteran Jerome Williams, who has big league experience, are also possibilities.