The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/10

A rash of injuries to the Cardinals' rotation has thrust young players, who had no idea they'd be called on this soon, into starting roles. Mitchell Boggs gets his opportunity today.

With Joel Pineiro (strained groin), Todd Wellemeyer (elbow inflammation) and Adam Wainwright (strained finger) all missing starts, Mike Parisi, Mitchell Boggs and perhaps Kyle McClellan have entered the picture.

Parisi, brought up from Class AAA Memphis to fill a bullpen role, made two starts, both unsuccessful, and was sent back to Memphis. Boggs, who made his first appearance in relief last week in Houston after coming up from Memphis, will make his first big-league start Tuesday night in Cincinnati.

McClellan, outstanding in relief as a rookie but a starter in the minors, is a possibility to take over for Wainwright if the latter is sidelined for a long period of time. Wainwright was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday but his turn on Thursday might well be taken by Pineiro, if he is fully recovered from his injury.

Manager Tony La Russa said that if McClellan became a starter, it would be for the rest of the season and not as a fill-in measure.

"You have to stretch him out," said La Russa. "You only do that if he's a starter from then on."

But La Russa also likes McClellan where he is. "He's important in the role he has... as one of our most effective shutdown guys," La Russa said.


--The Cardinals already have taken the first two series on this three-series trip which concludes in Cincinnati. They have played just one series against the Reds this season, winning two games out of three in St. Louis.

--1B Albert Pujols, who drew four walks (three intentional), went nothing for nine in Houston over the weekend, marking just the second time in eight seasons that he had gone without a hit in a series in Houston. The first time was in 2001, Pujols' rookie season.

--RHP Matt Clement's second rehab start wasn't quite as successful as the first. Clement, who had shoulder surgery in 2006, was bumped up to Class AA Springfield and gave up six runs (three earned) and seven hits in five innings Sunday night. Clement, who pitched six innings of one-hit ball in his first start for Class A Palm Beach, probably will make one more start for Springfield before moving on to Class AAA Memphis.

--RHP Chris Perez has made a name for himself with a high 90s fastball since coming up from Memphis but has thrown a good slider, such as on Saturday night when he got Houston RF Hunter Pence to ground into a double play with two runners on in the eighth. "You don't throw the ball by people in this league; you've got to make pitches," said manager Tony La Russa.

--The Cardinals have 30 wins out of their starters, who have lost only 15 games.

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