7/29/2014 10:32 P.M. ET
Mozeliak, Cards continue to mull pitching market
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- General manager John Mozeliak and several of his baseball operations lieutenants traveled to San Diego, where they spent much of Monday bunkered in the team hotel continuing to discuss and debate potential moves prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
With 42 hours to go, none of the four contending clubs in the National League Central had yet to make a move to improve their postseason chances. That includes the Cardinals, who remain actively in pursuit of starting pitching, of which there is plenty available. The question, of course, becomes at what cost would the Cardinals be willing to add?
Mozeliak has acknowledged that the Cardinals' priority is pitching. Manager Mike Matheny, citing his hesitancy to talk specifics in fear that it could suggest he's not confident in his current starters, would only say that he remains in regular contact with Mozeliak about the team's external options.
It is, he said, similar to his role during the offseason when he is asked for input before an acquisition.
"They're very similar in the fact that you go in with an idea of 'What can we do to get better?'" Matheny said. "That's the goal in the winter, and that's often the goal when you get down to the end of July. Then you have to do the feasibility stuff and understand as much as you can about not just helping us this year but the long-term health of our organization.
"We're doing things behind closed doors, trying to make our team better."
The Cardinals already have the rotation opening to add a starting pitcher, as the team has been using a four-man rotation since the All-Star break. That luxury can only last until the weekend, as the Cardinals will need a fifth starter on Saturday.
Decision looming for Cards' rotation opening
SAN DIEGO -- The Cardinals took advantage of a recent cluster of off-days to utilize a four-man rotation out of the All-Star break. That will have to end Saturday, however, when the Cardinals will once again need a fifth starter.
Manager Mike Matheny noted on Tuesday that the additional starter could still come from one of three places -- the bullpen, the Minors or outside the organization. The latter would have to happen before the 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline passes on Thursday, but it's one of the reasons why Matheny is refraining from naming a Saturday starter just four days out.
"There are a lot of things in play, so I don't want to make any statement one way or the other," Matheny said. "We'll wait and see how it plays out."
That Saturday start will be an important one, too, as it will come against the National League Central-leading Brewers. Adam Wainwright is in line to start to the series opener.
If the Cardinals do not deal for a starting pitcher, they'll have limited options for Saturday. Carlos Martinez would be one, though the club unplugged him from the rotation after some recent struggles. Though available out of the bullpen, Martinez hasn't pitched since his July 20 start. His availability could also be affected if the Cardinals need him in relief in San Diego.
With Tyler Lyons starting for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday, he would not be a candidate for a callup. Lefty Tim Cooney, who is 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA in four starts, would likely get the summons if the Cardinals need to go that route.
• After designating catcher George Kottaras for assignment over the weekend, the Cardinals granted him his outright release on Tuesday. Kottaras became expendable to the Cardinals after the team signed veteran backstop A.J. Pierzynski.
• Pierzynski made his third straight start since signing with the Cardinals on Saturday. He entered Tuesday with four hits in his first eight at-bats with his new club. Right fielder Allen Craig was back in the lineup for the first time since Friday.
• The Cardinals announced plans to host a Fantasy Mini-Camp from Jan. 29-31, 2015, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., after selling out the weeklong camp that will take place earlier that month. There are 44 spots available for campers, and the Cardinals have 14 former players scheduled to participate. For more information and/or to register, visit cardinals.com/fantasycamp.
• The Arizona Fall League announced on Tuesday that Class A Peoria pitching coach Jason Simontacchi will serve as the pitching coach this fall for the Peoria Javelinas, which will feature prospects from five teams, including the Cardinals. Jeremy Clipperton, the athletic trainer for Triple-A Memphis, will also be on the Peoria staff. Rosters for the AFL will be announced in about a month.
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.