Tim Stauffer is nearly ready to rejoin the Padres.
According to MLB.com’s Sarah Trotto, the 29-year-old right-hander is scheduled for one final minor league rehab start Wednesday with either Single-A Lake Elsinore or Triple-A Tucson. If it goes smoothly, he should be activated and thrust back into the San Diego starting rotation early next week.
Stauffer has been on the disabled list since the first week of April because of a strained right elbow. In his first rehab outing, he allowed two runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings at the Single-A level. In his second, he allowed one run on six hits over five innings at Triple-A.
The 29-year-old right-hander has posted a 3.15 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in his last 268 1/3 major league frames.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.