Cardinals tab lefty Cooney as Thursday’s starter vs. Phillies

Tim Cooney is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts at Memphis this season. 

Brad Barr/Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — Mike Matheny says the Cardinals will call up Triple A left-hander Tim Cooney to take the mound Thursday in place of the injured Adam Wainwright.

Cooney is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts at Memphis and struck out a season-high eight batters in five innings last Wednesday at Omaha. He gave up just four hits and one earned run in four appearances and eight innings for the Cardinals this spring.

"He was more aggressive," Matheny said. "I really liked how he was going about every outing he had and saw a good breaking ball. You see a lineup like (the Phillies’) with a lot of left-handed batters and his breaking ball plays there."

Fellow Memphis pitcher Tyler Lyons has a good breaking ball as well, but he hasn’t been quite as sharp so far this year. Lyons, the other lefty general manager John Mozeliak mentioned as a possibility to take Wainwright’s spot in the rotation, gave up seven earned runs in five innings this spring and has a 4.61 ERA in his first three starts for Memphis.

Neither pitcher would have been likely to get the call-up if not for injuries to Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia. Both are expected to be healthy within a month, but Matheny doesn’t want to put any added pressure on Cooney for his major league debut.

"I don’t want him thinking about that stuff," Matheny says. "You get the opportunity, just go do your thing without getting too distracted by ‘If I don’t do this, then that.’"

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