Addition of two starters means Andre Pallante is going to the Cardinals’ bullpen St. Louis Cardinals

Six into five means rookie Andre Pallante, who pitched shutout ball for eight innings in his previous start, is going to the Cardinals’ bullpen.

Since Pallante beat Washington 5-0 on Sunday, the Cardinals have added left-handers Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery to the rotation, giving them six starters when only five are generally needed.

Quintana is slated to pitch Thursday night in one of the games of a split doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs, and Miles Mikolas, the scheduled starter for Wednesday’s rainout, will have the first game at 12:15 pm

Montgomery, who is to arrive Thursday morning, will work against his former team, the New York Yankees, on Saturday night.

The reassignment of Pallante has nothing to do with how Pallante, whose earned-run average is 3.18, is pitching. Manager Oliver Marmol, mindful that Pallante’s professional career high in innings was 991/3 last year and his total is at 82 innings now, says he wants to make sure the impressive right-hander is ready for postseason action. So the 23-year-old will be ready for bullpen activity as early as Thursday.

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“I think he’ll be better as a reliever than ‘Dak’ (Dakota Hudson) in how we can use him against both righty (and) lefty pinch-hitters,” Marmol said. “And also we talk about overall innings — having them for the last run and for the playoffs.

“But it’s definitely not because he didn’t do the job as a starter. He took to that role well.”

Pallante’s next role could be as a high leverage reliever and not just a middle-innings man. He and fellow right-hander Jordan Hicks can be interchangeable, depending on how the lineup, including pinch hitters, shapes up. Hicks has held left-handed hitters to a .197 average, better than Pallante’s .219, and Hicks is much better against right-handers at .195, compared with Pallante’s .317.

Hudson is targeted to start Friday against the Yankees and veteran Adam Wainwright on Sunday.

Per Thursday’s games, Andrew Knizner will catch Mikolas in the afternoon and Yadier Molina will handle newcomer Quintana, just acquired from Pittsburgh, at night.

When Montgomery is activated on Thursday, a roster move will have to be made and young left-hander Zack Thompson, who hasn’t pitched in 10 days, would seem to be a candidate to be sent out — although Marmol likes having his versatility out of the bullpen.

“He’ll be used in meaningful ways. It just hasn’t presented itself,” Marmol said.

Thompson also could use some work, even if it is at Memphis.

“Does he need to go down and pitch? Or can we use him in meaningful ways?” Marmol asked, rhetorically.

That Montgomery will be facing his former team right away will be an emotional, let alone physical, challenge. But Marmol said he didn’t want to keep Montgomery out of action any longer than necessary. He last pitched on Sunday.

“We got him to pitch because we need him to pitch,” Marmol said. “It is what it is. He’ll face the Yanks.”

Montgomery, in a conversation with Marmol on Wednesday, admitted his initial shock at being traded and that, during his exit news conference he hadn’t conveyed much excitement about leaving to come here. But Marmol said the 29-year-old had told him, “there was a lot going on,” and that he was “very excited” about joining the Cardinals.

Until his final two starts with the Yankees, Montgomery, who has a high groundball rate, had a 3.24 ERA. It ballooned to 3.69 after the two outings.

“He doesn’t miss a ton of bats,” Marmol said, “but it will still be more than what our rotation holds at the moment.”

Elsewhere, right-hander Drew VerHagen won’t be in the rotation or in the bullpen.

VerHagen, who has been out because of shoulder and hip impingements, in that order, isn’t expected to be able to pitch the rest of the season. Marmol said he would make an announcement Thursday morning after checking with the medical staff.

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