10/1/2013 11:46 P.M. ET
Opponent could determine Cards' NLDS roster
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Aside from naming Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn as their Games 1 and 2 starters, the Cardinals have opted not to reveal anything else about their projected National League Division Series roster until they knew who they were facing.
They'll meet the Pirates, who beat the Reds, 6-2, in the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday. Though the Cardinals are not required to set their NLDS playoff roster until Thursday morning, manager Mike Matheny indicated that he'll share the organization's plans during a workout Wednesday afternoon.
The Cardinals are expected to utilize a four-man rotation and will slide the fifth starter into the bullpen. The organization is also leaning toward a breakdown of 12 pitchers (four starters, eight relievers) and 13 position players (eight starters, five reserves).
Whether the Cardinals keep three catchers, go with two or three lefties in the bullpen and how they plan to use Edward Mujica (if at all) will be clarified once that roster is revealed.
By remaining mum on the roster topic now, the Cardinals can make their final decisions based upon their opponent. Matheny said that the opponent could sway how the Cardinals set up their rotation and how the final spot in the bullpen is filled.
"We lean on our staff and just spent a lot of time putting together what we think is the right thing," Matheny said. "It isn't necessarily a fun process, but once we get everything going, everybody is going the same direction."
Resurgent Lynn draws Game 2 start
ST. LOUIS -- A month after nearly being pulled from the starting rotation, Lance Lynn is now preparing to start Game 2 of the Cardinals' National League Division Series.
Manager Mike Matheny informed Lynn of the assignment on Tuesday, shortly after Lynn showed up for the Cardinals' afternoon workout. He'll follow Adam Wainwright in the postseason rotation, drawing Friday's start at home against the Pirates at noon CT on MLB Network.
The Cardinals have not announced how the rest of their expected four-man rotation will line up for the NLDS.
"At this time of year, you don't care when you start," Lynn said. "You're looking forward to it. It's the playoffs. It doesn't matter when or where you get to pitch, as long as you get that opportunity."
It was after abbreviated starts against the Pirates (Aug. 31) and Reds (Sept. 5) that Lynn's rotation spot looked particularly tenuous. But he had a bounce-back performance against the Brewers on Sept. 11, the first of four consecutive quality starts to end the year. In those four outings, Lynn allowed just 19 hits and three earned runs in 24 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals went 3-1 in those games.
That recent string of success, coupled with Lynn's splits when pitching at home (9-3 with a 2.82 ERA) vs. on the road (6-7 with a 5.15 ERA), went into the Cardinals' decision to give him Friday's home start.
"I think it's something that he's earned," Matheny said. "Right now, I think he also has a great amount of confidence and that's something he's going to be able to take to another level. He's been very consistent here in his last couple starts and really has a good tempo and feel off the mound."
There's also an experience factor. Though just 26, and in his second full season in the Majors, Lynn has already been through two postseason runs. He came back from an oblique strain to pitch out of the bullpen in 2011. Last year, Lynn relieved in the Wild Card game and NLDS before starting twice in the NL Championship Series.
"This year, I'm going in knowing what I'm doing and what my job is," Lynn said. "It should be a little easier to get in a routine and get everything right."
Lynn said he didn't plan on watching the Wild Card Game on Tuesday, believing that a one-game playoff may not be the best indicator of approach during the upcoming best-of-five series. He knows the opponents quite well already, too. Ten of Lynn's 33 starts this season came against the Pirates and the Reds.
"The way he's been rolling, it's a good fit," Matheny said. "We have some good options and we really feel good with any of the guys out there any day."
• The Cardinals held a one-hour workout at Busch Stadium on Tuesday and will work out again on Wednesday in advance of the Division Series, which begins Thursday at 4 p.m. CT on TBS. Wednesday's workout will also be closed to the public. The Pirates will also hold a workout at Busch Stadium on Wednesday.
• Three Cardinals players have been named finalists for the Players' Choice Awards. Yadier Molina joins Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew McCutchen as finalists for the Outstanding Player Award. Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig are up for Outstanding Rookie honors. Carlos Beltran is a finalist for the Man of the Year Award, which recognizes the player who inspires others through on-field performance and charity work. Mariano Rivera and Raul Ibanez are the other finalists.
The winners of the various awards, which are voted on by players, will be announced on MLB Network on Nov. 4.
• The St. Louis Blues hockey team announced that it is pushing back the start time for its season opener on Thursday to accommodate the Cardinals' 4 p.m. CT game. The hockey game is now scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.