Joe Kelly leaves start with hamstring injury

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Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly left today’s start against the Brewers after tweaking his hamstring trying to beat out an infield single in the sixth inning.

With his next turn in the rotation in question the Cardinals may have to dip into their impressive pitching depth for a fill-in starter. Carlos Martinez could be shifted from the bullpen, although his arm strength isn’t built up yet and the Cardinals presumably wouldn’t want to disrupt his relief role so quickly after deciding not to use him as a starter.

Left-hander Tyler Lyons is waiting in the wings at Triple-A and actually started today as well, so he’d be on the same schedule as Kelly if needed. Lyons had a 4.75 ERA with nice secondary numbers in 53 innings for the Cardinals last season as a 25-year-old rookie and pitched well at Triple-A too.

Delving even deeper into the minors is another possibility, because the Cardinals have plenty of intriguing young starters at Double-A and Triple-A, but if they feel like Kelly’s injury won’t require more than 1-2 missed starts Lyons would seemingly be the easy pick.