With pitchers ailing, losses continuing, Cardinals turn to Oviedo to stand out, not just fill in

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The Cardinals’ Johan Oviedo pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com)

David Carson

Derrick Goold

When the Cardinals explained their plan to rookie Johan Oviedo and how he would play a recurring role in the rotation while not being a regular part of it, the team and the righthander recognized the challenge that would present to his schedule.

He’d start regularly, just not with regularity. He’d get time in the majors, even if it came one day at a time. And, regardless of how he did within the innings available, he’d get starts and experience that would be important to his future.

The assignment has changed.

The Cardinals need him, at his best, for their present.

Kwang Hyun Kim went back on the injured list with a sore back Saturday morning. He joins Jack Flaherty (torn oblique) as a Cardinals starter who went on the IL in the past week. Miles Mikolas was already there. So 60 percent of the rotation the Cardinals hoped to start the month of June with is not out for at least two substantive weeks of June.

Oviedo goes from the rookie used as a sixth starter to give every other pitcher rest to now being a featured part of the rotation, arguably their No. 3.

What has kept Oviedo from greater consistency in his starts is command. He’s 0-2 and still…

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