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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cardinals Injury Update: Michael Wacha will return to pitch Thursday


By on 9/02/2014 08:00:00 PM

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that they will activate starting pitcher Michael Wacha from the 60-day disabled list and start him on Thursday, September 4, when the Cardinals play in Cincinnati. Wacha will make his first start since June 17. He went on the disabled list the next day with a stress reaction in his right shoulder.

Wacha pitched a Minor League rehab game on September 1, the last day of the Minor League season. He pitched two scoreless innings and allowed only one hit.

Since the rosters have expanded, no one will have to come off the active roster to make room. The expansion also gives manager Mike Matheny the option of using Wacha as a middle or late reliever since Wacha has had no chance to stretch himself back into a starter's duration. Wacha will start Thursday, but, as CBS Sports.com's Mike Axisa notes, he will have pitch limit of approximately 60 pitches. That would cover four innings at best, assuming each inning is a low-pitch one.



By the end of the season, Wacha will have had the same amount of time, if not more, as he would have had in a full rehab assignment to build himself up in case Matheny would want to return him to the rotation for the postseason should the Cardinals make it.

Wacha was 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 15 starts before his injury. He also had a 3.19 K/BB ratio. In last year's postseason, Wacha shined to a 4-1 record, 2.64 ERA, and 0.91 WHIP in five games in the postseason that followed his rookie season.

Thursday's game with the Reds has an unusual start time: 11:35 a.m. EDT.

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