Joe Kelly is the Cardinals’ new fifth starter

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Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The Cardinals have not yet determined when they will use a fifth starter in the coming weeks, but they know who will be added to the rotation when they do.

Joe Kelly, who held the Cardinals in Friday’s game with five shutout innings of emergency relief, will get the next open start once the Cardinals figure out how to navigate three off days coming in the next nine days.

Tyler Lyons had been filling that role for the Cards but was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Saturday after posting a rough 5.51 ERA over his first six starts.

Kelly, who was stretched out as a starter this spring before ultimately settling into a long relief role, owns a 3.69 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 101/44 K/BB ratio in 139 career MLB innings. He was a third-round pick in ’09.

If Kelly doesn’t work out, the Cardinals can either turn to Carlos Martinez or back to Michael Wacha.

Miguel Sano gained weight this offseason

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Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.

They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.

Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.

Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.

So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.