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Cardinals Ponder A Four-Man Rotation

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In the wake of the Jeff Suppan signing and the collapse of their last two rookie starters the Cardinals are apparently considering a brief run with the four-man rotation

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Suppan will start Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners, manager Tony La Russa confirmed Sunday. He said the off day Thursday would allow for the rotation to shift as needed, and that another off day a week from today affords an opportunity to skip a starter entirely or shuffle again.

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"We're talking about it," La Russa said. "But I don't think we need to be settled on anything."

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The next time a fifth starter is needed would be June 26.

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The Cardinals usually pull this trick early in the season—La Russa will carry a bunch of relievers for a while and in the meantime Dan'n'Al will mention, every time the fourth starter comes up, that the Cardinals don't need a fifth one until April X. 

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But skipping Ottavino at this point seems like a decent move. More generally, any time 2010 Jeff Suppan is your fourth starter, your fifth starter should be nobody. 

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