MILWAUKEE -- Brandon Dickson will be the only callup for the Cardinals on Thursday, the first day that clubs are permitted to expand their rosters beyond 25 players. Several other players from Triple-A Memphis may come up later in the month, but for the time being, the bulk of those candidates will remain with Memphis while the Redbirds try to make the Pacific Coast League playoffs.
Dickson, however, has to arrive in time for Thursday's game, because he'll be the starting pitcher. He's getting a game in order to give some of the Cards' other starters an extra day of rest.
Catcher Tony Cruz is the most likely other candidate for a callup before Memphis is eliminated, but Dickson will be the only one to arrive on the first day.
Other candidates for promotion later in the month include infielder Tyler Greene, first baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton, and outfielder Andrew Brown. It's highly unlikely that third baseman Zack Cox, the Cardinals' first-round Draft pick in 2009, will be called up from Double-A Springfield.
Jackson to start Sunday as Lohse pushed back
ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse has once again been pushed back in the Cardinals rotation, as the club will move Edwin Jackson up to regular rest to pitch on Sunday at home against the Reds. Lohse, who last pitched on Aug. 28, will start Tuesday and be pitching on eight days' rest.
Following his Aug. 4 start, Lohse was also moved back, pitching his next game on seven days' rest. He has been less effective in the second half of the season than the first, while Jackson has been pitching very well lately.
"Jackson is pitching Sunday," manager Tony La Russa said. "That's when I want him to pitch. It's his fifth day, so he pitches."
A number of factors played into the decision. Jackson will avoid what would have been a fourth appearance against the Brewers in five weeks. Lohse, who hasn't pitched a full season since 2008, will get a little extra rest in hopes of getting him to the end of the year healthy -- though he and the club both firmly maintain that he is physically sound.
"I know what I've been through the last two years," Lohse said. "So, yeah, maybe fatigue could be a problem. But I feel like I've come into every start strong. It's almost kind of backfired on me the last couple because I come in there feeling almost too good. When I do that, I'm trying to overpower my pitches instead of coming in and just locating it."
Jackson, who has been one of the club's two best starters since coming over from Toronto, will stay on turn. The club will apparently look to prioritize him, Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook ahead of Lohse and Jaime Garcia in the coming days and weeks.
Garcia learning to deal with mental fatigue
MILWAUKEE -- For better and worse, Jaime Garcia can feel plenty of difference between his second half this season and the late-season fade that hit him a year ago when he was a rookie.
Garcia said Tuesday that unlike a year ago, he's feeling just fine physically. However, the mental strain of getting himself sorted out from another second-half slump is weighing on the young left-hander. Garcia explained that he's working on not taking his struggles home with him when he leaves the ballpark.
"I feel like the mental part is the biggest thing," he said. "I'm the kind of guy that, it's so hard for me to take it easy and put my mind on something else -- on my off-days, to think about something else that I like to do other than the game. That's another thing that I'm learning. I'm so about my work, what I need to do to get better every single time. I work as hard as I can in between starts. So sometimes my mind gets tired from that."
He's sought counsel from veteran teammates like Chris Carpenter, and he's trying to view the experience as a positive one. To Garcia's eye, learning to handle these challenges so early in his career should only benefit him in the long run.
That doesn't mean it's much fun in the short term.
"Every single day I'm trying to do everything I can do to help be ready for my next start," he said. "It's just been a different year for me. It's tough. It's a process. I'm learning a lot. So hopefully we'll figure it out and get better."
Still, Garcia was emphatic that he's fully physically sound, and that's good news. It's a high priority for him to pitch through the rest of the year, rather than being shut down as he was a year ago. Manager Tony La Russa said the club has every intention of keeping Garcia in the rotation, and that's welcome news to the young hurler.
"They know that I want to go out there and no matter if we're first place, second place, third, I don't care, I just want to go out there and help my team to win," he said. "I'm capable of doing it, and I'm fine physically. So I definitely want to pitch."
Maikel Cleto had a rough one for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday, allowing seven runs on seven hits and four walks in four innings in a 7-3 loss to Albuquerque. Memphis is four games out of first place with seven games to play.
Double-A Springfield fell one game from playoff elimination with a 4-3 loss to Tulsa. Donovan Solano was 3-for-4 in the defeat.
Class A Palm Beach was eliminated from playoff contention due to a 6-3 loss to Bradenton. Rainel Rosario and Adam Melker had two hits each.
Class A Quad Cities, already playoff-bound, was rained out against Burlington.
Vance Albitz had three hits to help short-season Batavia beat State College, 6-5.
Rookie Level Johnson City closed out its regular season with a 4-3 win against Burlington. Gary Apelian doubled twice and drove in two runs. The Appalachian League playoffs began on Wednesday night with Johnson City visiting Danville.
The Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Cardinals were off on Wednesday.
Albitz, playing his sixth game in the Cardinals organization, was the player of the day. He went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. He signed with the organization out of independent ball.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.