But Black likes the way Stults has looked in his last two starts, and noted Kennedy's reluctance to let loose on his fastball in his first start back from a mild oblique strain on Saturday. Black will evaluate his options after Kennedy throws a side session while the team is in Minnesota.
"We'll look through when we get to Minnesota … whether Ian needs another day or two based on his side session [in between starts]," Black said. "He'll throw a side in Minnesota and we'll gauge where he is. We'll see where him and Tyson [Ross] and Stultzie line up when we get to Minnesota and see how that relates to the Pittsburgh series."
Black also said that with the bullpen slightly taxed after Saturday's 12-inning win, Despaigne would be available for relief work on Sunday. If Despaigne has to be called on, that could add another wrinkle to the situation -- though Black is confident Despaigne could still make his start as scheduled if he only has to throw an inning or two.
"Despaigne has a rubber arm," Black said. "Our bullpen's been used a little bit the last week, there are some fellas that have had quite a bit of usage."
Will Laws is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.