NL Central Notes: Cardinals, Yelich, Anderson, Hayes

Facing a run of 17 games in 17 days, the Cardinals will move to a six-man rotation for the time being, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Young righty Johan Oviedo will make at least a pair of starts to afford the remainder of the Cardinals’ rotation five days of rest between outings. Pitching coach Mike Maddux says the team is focused on “keeping guys fresher for September and we hope October” with a shift to a larger starting staff. Right-hander Miles Mikolas, who has yet to pitch this season due to shoulder troubles (after missing the 2020 season because of flexor tendon surgery), is still a few weeks away from being a viable rotation option, per Goold. As such, the Cards will rely on Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Kwang Hyun Kim, John Gant, Carlos Martinez and Oviedo to make starts for the foreseeable future.

A few more notes from the division…

  • Brewers star Christian Yelich won’t be activated from the injured list when he is first eligible Saturday, manager Craig Counsell tells reporters (Twitter link via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Counsell didn’t offer a potential return date for Yelich, who hasn’t played since April 11 because of a back ailment. Billy McKinney has been the Brewers’ main left field fill-in since Yelich went down, and though he hasn’t gotten on base much, his .275/.293/.550 line through 41 plate appearances is 25 percent above the league-average mark, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric.
  • McKinney hit his third homer of the season Friday, but the Brewers still took a 15-2 beating at the hands of the division-rival Cubs. The game started inauspiciously for Milwaukee, which saw starter Brett Anderson exit with an injury in the first inning after facing four batters and surrendering three earned runs on three hits. Anderson said after the game that he’s dealing with a hamstring issue and will undergo an MRI, Adam McCalvy of tweets. The Brewers will know Saturday whether the 33-year-old southpaw will require an IL stint.
  • Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes suffered a setback in his left injured wrist earlier this week, but he’s “doing better” now, manager Derek Shelton said (via Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic, on Twitter). Shelton added that the Pirates will know more on Hayes’ status when their road trip ends Sunday. Hayes was a popular NL Rookie of the Year pick entering the season, but he has only played in two games so far, and there’s no clear timetable for his return.

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