7/23/2014 6:38 P.M. ET
Miller set to return to rotation against Cubs
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Shelby Miller's brief transfer to the bullpen has concluded, as the Cardinals announced on Wednesday that Miller will return to the rotation on Saturday to face the Cubs. Concurrent with Miller's transition back to starting, Carlos Martinez will shift to the bullpen, where he is immediately ready for use.
The Cardinals opened the second half with Miller in the 'pen as part of the organization's plan to weave a period of rest into the regular season for the second-year starter. Miller last started on July 10, when he walked four and allowed four runs in a five-inning loss to Pittsburgh. His only appearance since then came out of the bullpen in Sunday's one-inning appearance.
"I think we accomplished what the goal was from the beginning of 'let's get him some rest,'" manager Mike Matheny said. "He's had a nice little period here to get himself right and strong and feeling good. Now we have to get him out on the mound and watch him get the consistency."
The Cardinals are looking for the same consistency from Martinez, though the 22-year-old right-hander will now try to find it while pitching in relief. He made seven starts after joining the rotation in mid-June, but didn't pitch into the fifth in either of his most recent two. He finished six innings only once.
"He hit it right on the mark -- consistency with his stuff and consistency in the strike zone and continue to get better with his offspeed stuff," Matheny said of Martinez's spoken checklist of areas for improvement. "It's frustrating, I'm sure, for a kid who has that kind of stuff not to be able to replicate it from inning to inning. It just comes down to execution. He's going to get there."
The Cardinals are not committing to whether Martinez will rejoin the rotation next month once the Cardinals again need a regular fifth starter. Martinez will remain an option, as will current members of the Triple-A Memphis rotation. There is also the possibility that the Cardinals add a starter via the trade market before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline to fill that spot externally.
"Once we get to that stage, get that decision, we'll see who fits it best," Matheny said. "It could be him, and it might not. That's the message he has right now. He just needs to go pitch and take whatever role he can fit in right now to go get better."
Greenwood impresses, but optioned to Triple-A
ST. LOUIS -- To make room for Kevin Siegrist's activation from the disabled list, the Cardinals optioned Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis, where the lefty will pitch out of the bullpen but also remain stretched out in case the club has a later need for a long reliever.
Greenwood earned himself more than a month-long stay during his first big league call-up because of his ability to cover multiple innings out of the 'pen. He went at least two innings in six of his nine appearances and covered more than three innings twice.
"Terrific impression," manager Mike Matheny said of Greenwood. "The conversation we had with him was, 'Nick, you have to realize what you did was not just coming in and filling in a spot. You bailed us out of some huge predicaments. You really impressed us every time we gave you a chance.' It was nice having that safety valve at the end. He was very resilient. He got outs. That's the bottom line."
Greenwood, 26, posted a 4.74 ERA over 19 innings. He positioned himself as a strong September call-up candidate if he is not summoned before then.
Cardinals land Competitive Balance Lottery pick
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals netted an extra pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft through Wednesday's Competitive Balance Lottery, which was introduced in the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement as a way to give small-market and low-revenue teams the chance to earn one of 12 extra picks.
The Cardinals' won the third selection in Round A, which comes immediately after the first round. This year, the Cardinals had a pick in the Competitive Balance Round B, which they used to take college right-hander Andrew Morales at No. 71 overall.
There were 15 teams eligible to receive a pick in this year's lottery, with that pool made up of the clubs in the 10 smallest markets and those that have the 10 smallest revenue pools. Teams that receive revenue-sharing funds are eligible for the second supplemental round only. The odds of winning an extra pick are based on the reverse standings from last season, meaning the Cardinals were the least likely team to be selected.
The added pick means the Cardinals will receive a windfall of extra funds into their 2015 Draft pool. This year, a pick in Competitive Balance Round A added an average of $1.78 million to a team's pool.
These Competitive Balance picks can also be traded, which makes them a valuable asset with the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching. Last year, for instance, the Orioles sent their Competitive Balance pick to Houston as part of their package for Bud Norris.
These picks can traded just once and only in the regular season. Cash cannot be involved in the transaction.
• Oscar Taveras returned to the lineup on Wednesday, starting in right field. The start was just the third since July 10 for the Cardinals' top outfield prospect. He has hit .209/.244/.256 since being recalled at the start of the month.
• Left-hander Marco Gonzales earned his first Triple-A win with a strong seven-inning start on Tuesday. Gonzales allowed two runs (both solo homers) on five hits and did not allow a walk. He struck out seven.
• After hitting .378/.475/.815 with eight doubles, 14 homers and 38 RBIs in 35 games with the Class A Short-Season State College (Pa.) club, outfielder Rowan Wick earned a promotion to Class A Peoria (Ill.). Wick, a ninth-round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, broke the State College Spikes' single-season home run record of 10 only 19 games into the season.
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.