Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wacha Wacha Wacha
Michael Wacha starts for the Cardinals tonight. I cannot remember a more anticipated debut, or, really, a more anticipated regular season game in May. The BFIBs are going crazy.
I also can't remember a rookie pitcher ever progressing through the Cardinals system to the majors faster. Wacha is 21 and was the Cards' 1st round draft choice just last year. He pitched 21 innings in the minors last summer, and has started 9 games at AAA Memphis this year (4-0 with a 2.05 ERA). He impressed everyone in spring training when he didn't give up a run; in particular, he apparently really impressed Yadi Molina, who may be even more important than the manager or the GM in terms of evaluating the Cards' pitching talent.
Is it too fast to bring him up? Yes and no. Yes if the Cards plan on running him out to the mound for 20+ more starts and 140-150 more innings this year (he's already at 52 for the season from his time at Memphis). But no if the Cards plan on using him judiciously until Jake Westbrook or Chris Carpenter or John Gast gets back. The Cards have a bit of a dilemma this year in that they have talent that they don't want to burn (Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez and Wacha), pitchers who are all 21-22 years old who have never thrown anywhere near 200 innings in a season. I suspect that they may be very creative over the next four months in how they use them, and how they mix them with the holdovers in the rotation (Wainwright and Lynn), the veterans who hopefully will return (Westbrook and Carpenter) and the slightly older rookies (Gast and Tyler Lyons, 24 and 25, respectively). If Westbrook and Carpenter can't make it back, I wouldn't be surprised to see a deadline deal for a mid-level innings eater using some of our minor league depth as bait (Ryan Jackson and maybe one of the trio of third basemen we drafted last year, Piscotty, Wisdom or Carson Kelly).
Anyway, Wacha is must see TV tonight at the Regular Guy's house.