Closing Time: Trevor Rosenthal moves to head of Cardinals committee

It was a little rocky, but Trevor Rosenthal did the job Wednesday (AP)

Although the Cardinals are five games under .500, they’re certainly not out of it in the National League Central. No one is running away with that division; Milwaukee is one game ahead of Chicago, with St. Louis 3.5 games back.

And with a playoff spot definitely attainable, the Cardinals aren’t going to sit on a static, stale lineup. That message was delivered loud and clear Wednesday.

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The first shift came before the game, when slumping sophomore Aledmys Diaz was optioned to Triple-A. Diaz’s OPS has dropped almost 200 points from last year’s surprise breakout; he’s slashing .260/.293/.396. Fantasy owners didn’t mind the category juice (seven homers, four steals). Diaz graded out as a plus defender, after recording negative defensive metrics in 2016.

Paul DeJong could be the new, everyday shortstop; he made Wednesday’s start. He goes up to the plate hacking — one walk, 29 strikeouts — which is why his OBP is just four points higher than his .283 average. He does have five homers in 92 at-bats.

Things got more interesting at the end of St. Louis’s 4-3 victory over Arizona. Mike Matheny is ready to open up his closing options; Trevor Rosenthal got the call Wednesday. Rosenthal wasn’t at his sharpest — three baserunners, one run, 29 pitches — but when you shake hands at the end, everyone’s happy.

If you look at the secondary metrics, Rosenthal (2.36 FIP) has been a lot better than incumbent closer Seung Hwan Oh (4.53 FIP). But we can’t be sure if the Cardinals still live in a simplistic, ERA world — that’s where Oh has the lead, 3.75 to 4.25. Matheny isn’t going to name one single closer, so we could see some mix-and-match saves with other names entering the mix. The team’s mediocre bullpen has a 4.43 ERA, ranking 19th in the majors.

If you need to fight for every possible save, Rosenthal is available in 74 percent of Yahoo leagues. He recorded 93 saves in 2014-2015, and at leas this strikeout rate (37 percent) is worthy of a closer. Wildness is occasionally an issue; he’s walking 11 percent of his batters, almost twice as high as Oh’s rate.

• The Giants have a bullpen in flux, too. Mark Melancon (elbow) went on the DL before Wednesday’s game. Sam Dyson, who was last seen coughing up a closing gig in Texas, is expected to be the Melancon stand-in, but Dyson needed a day off Wednesday. Hunter Strickland wound up getting the last out in the victory over Colorado.

Not everyone will have the stomach for a Dyson addition. He was beyond awful in the Texas stint (ERA over 10, six homers allowed, more walks than strikeouts), and although the K rate has been good in his eight San Francisco appearances, he nonetheless has a 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. How badly are you chasing those saves?

Josh Reddick’s ownership tag hasn’t made sense for some time. He’s settled into the No. 2 slot in the Houston lineup — the top scoring team in the American League — and yet he’s rostered in just 23 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Reddick can be injury prone, of course, but he’s doing a little bit of everything when he’s on the field. He had a nifty 4-2-3-3 line in Wednesday’s slugfest win over the A’s, with a couple of stolen bases. You’re getting a .305 average here, with eight homers and six steals over 66 games. You know Reddick is controlling his at-bats expertly when you see 22 walks against 34 strikeouts.