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Inbox: Who will the Cards tab for Waino's spot?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from Cardinals fans
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

Assuming both are healthy, who would the Cardinals prefer to have fill Adam Wainwright's role -- Jaime Garcia or Marco Gonzales?
-- Andrew W., Frankfort, Ill.

Garcia, if all goes well for him over the next week, will most likely get the first call. For one, Garcia, who threw 72 pitches for Triple-A Memphis on Sunday, is further along than Gonzales, who lasted just 56 pitches on Saturday. That puts Garcia potentially just one more rehab start away from being considered for the Major League rotation.

Assuming both are healthy, who would the Cardinals prefer to have fill Adam Wainwright's role -- Jaime Garcia or Marco Gonzales?
-- Andrew W., Frankfort, Ill.

Garcia, if all goes well for him over the next week, will most likely get the first call. For one, Garcia, who threw 72 pitches for Triple-A Memphis on Sunday, is further along than Gonzales, who lasted just 56 pitches on Saturday. That puts Garcia potentially just one more rehab start away from being considered for the Major League rotation.

With Garcia due $9.25 million this season, the Cardinals would like to squeeze whatever payoff possible from him. Not to mention, Garcia has shown himself to be a quality big league starter when healthy. That being said, if both lefties are healthy, you'll see both of them in St. Louis this season. The Cards are going to need more than five starters to cover all the necessary rotation innings, so both will factor in.

• Submit your question to the Inbox

An eight-man bullpen seems to be appropriate right now and for the near future, given the schedule. It would seem to be of greater benefit to keep the extra reliever than to add another bench player. What drives the decision to return to a seven-man bullpen?
-- Fred B., Jacksonville, Fla.

The biggest determinant at the moment is bullpen usage. With the team just having played 20 games over 20 days and dealing with some rotation issues, the club needed extra relief help. Over that stretch, the relievers combined to throw 72 innings, most in the Majors. Once the Cardinals get that reliever workload under control, they will consider going back to a five-man bench.

The Cards would also have to consider changing the roster breakdown should more position players become sidelined. Matt Carpenter missed this most recent series due to fatigue issues, and Jon Jay is dealing with a bruised thumb.

Do the Cardinals have somebody pegged as the eighth-inning guy while Jordan Walden is out? Or will it be a committee?
-- Ryan Eisenauer (@Eisenauer7)

It will be largely by committee, though expect to see Seth Maness get much of the eighth-inning work. While we've grown accustomed to seeing Maness summoned when the team needs a double play, the Cardinals like how the right-hander fits in a setup role. Matt Belisle and Kevin Siegrist will also factor into those late innings. Manager Mike Matheny has been drawn to having scripted seventh-, eighth- and ninth-inning roles in the past, but the loss of Walden won't allow him that luxury for a while.

Video: STL@PIT: Maness induces a double play, run scores

With Randal Grichuk returning soon to provide much-needed right-handed pop off bench, who will get sent down?
-- Dan Picca (@DanPicca)

Given that he's missed nearly a month with a back issue, Grichuk is going to need some time to get his timing back during his time at extended spring camp, which just began. If the Cards still have a four-man bench at the time Grichuk is ready, they'd likely send out a reliever, as there is no one on the current bench that is a candidate to be sent down.

I will periodically answer fan questions on MLB Network's MLB Now program, so you can also look for your submissions to appear there.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Jaime Garcia, Marco Gonzales, Randal Grichuk, Jordan Walden