Wacha to start Thursday for Cardinals


AP Sports Writer

Michael Wacha's lone rehab start lasted just two innings, but it was enough for the St. Louis Cardinals to plug him back into the rotation in a high-pressure game.

"His resume speaks for itself," general manager John Mozeliak said. "When he was throwing, he could be dominant. And frankly, he's very fresh."

The 23-year-old Wacha will replace Justin Masterson on Thursday at Milwaukee. He'll be making his first start since mid-June against the Cardinals' closest competition in the NL Central.

"I knew that might have been in consideration, didn't know if they were going to do it or not," Wacha said. "But I'm real happy with it. Definitely looking forward to Thursday."

Manager Mike Matheny said Wacha, a breakout rookie star last year who was the NL championship series MVP, will be limited to around 60 pitches at Milwaukee. The 23-year-old right-hander is 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts and has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder stress reaction.

Mozeliak said Wacha could have made a second rehab start for Triple-A Memphis, but thought pitching in the majors "made the most sense."

Rookie Marco Gonzales and Tyler Lyons, lefties who were among five players added Tuesday, will be ready for long relief in that game.

"He'll have some help close behind him," Matheny said.

If all goes well, Wacha will likely add 15-20 pitches per start and be at full strength for the postseason.

"I feel as strong as I've ever been," Wacha said. "Will definitely last me for the rest of this year, hopefully. Just sticking with the rehab stuff and this whole process. It's been a grind, happy to be out there Thursday."

Masterson, acquired at the trade deadline from Cleveland, was 2-3 with a 7.90 ERA in six starts. He had allowed 24 earned runs in 27 1-3 innings.

The Cardinals activated reliever Jason Motte from DL from a lower back strain and also recalled lefty Nick Greenwood and catcher Tony Cruz before Tuesday's game against the Pirates.

Lyons and Gonzales were standouts in a doubleheader against the Cubs on Saturday. Lyons had a career-high eight strikeouts, the most by a Cardinals reliever since 1978, in 4 2-3 innings of relief in Game 1. Gonzales worked six strong innings in his first career victory.

Motte has been on the DL since Aug. 2. He was the closer before reconstructive elbow surgery sidelined him all last season and is 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 games this season.

Read more Baseball Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Reyes (7) slides past Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph for a run on a single by Danny Valencia in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Baltimore.

    Blue Jays lose ground in 5-2 loss to Orioles

    The Toronto Blue Jays might have a chance to play a part in the clinching of the AL East title, although it isn't exactly the role they had in mind back in April.

  • Recap: Kansas City vs. Chicago WSox

    Lorenzo Cain's infield single in the bottom of the ninth capped a two-run rally with two outs and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game set.

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, left, doubles   in the first inning of a baseball game as Minnesota Twins shortstop Danny Santana reaches for the throw, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Minneapolis.

    Hunter, Cabrera homer in 9th; Tigers top Twins 8-6

    Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning to help the Detroit Tigers tighten their grip on the American League Central by winning their fourth straight game, 8-6 over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category