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52 Michael Wacha SP
Height/Weight: 6-6/210 | Birthdate: 7/1/1991 | Birthplace: Iowa City, IA | Bats/Throws: R/R | Team: St. Louis | College: None | MLB Experience: 3 | Owned/Started%: 98/88 | Average Draft Position: 92.21
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Cardinals SP Michael Wacha joins Colon, Felix with six wins


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/20/2015) Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha improved to 6-0 during a 10-2 rout of the Mets on Tuesday, joining Bartolo Colon and Felix Hernandez as the only pitchers in the majors with six wins.

The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out five. His only real blemish of the game was allowing a two-run homer to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning.

Wacha has allowed more than two earned runs just once in eight starts.

"I think he's a better pitcher," manager Mike Matheny said, per MLB.com. "I think he was a guy like a lot of the young pitchers we bring up who was a two-pitch pitcher with a real good fastball and a changeup. The curveball is a legitimate pitch now, and so is the cutter.

"He's improved. I think he's just getting a better idea of how to use his stuff each night, and he's adjusting real well. [Catcher] Yadi [Molina] is a great help, too, to figure out what's good that day and ride it out."


Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha performs well against Indians


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/14/2015) Cardinals stud starter Michael Wacha pitched like one Thursday in Cleveland. But he didn't pitch like one for long enough.

The Indians used patience at the plate to make Wacha throw 105 pitches in five-plus innings, after which he was removed in a no-decision.

Wacha worked out of jams to keep the Indians down to one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out seven. He allowed a home run to Michael Brantley and double to Brandon Moss to start the sixth, forcing his removal.

He was saved from his first defeat when his team took the lead in the eighth.

Wacha will try to raise his record to 6-0 and lower a fine 2.06 ERA next Tuesday against the host Mets.


Cardinals mull six-man rotation, prefer Garcia to Gonzales


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/10/2015) The Cardinals are considering moving to a six-man rotation to help battle the loss of ace Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

"It’s not something we would rule out," general manager John Mozeliak said Saturday. "It’s something we’ve talked about, but we haven’t decided if that’s the best option for us. It’s something I think a lot about, and I know (manager) Mike (Matheny) and (pitching coach Derek Lilliquist) do too. It’s on the table."

With Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez not being ticketed for 200-inning seasons, the team is considering whether to roll out a six-man rotation or to go with a five-man rotation and periodically skip starts of the two younger pitchers while giving others spot starts in their place. However, a six-man rotation could throw off the routines of Lance Lynn and John Lackey. If the team does opt for a five-man rotation, Jaime Garcia is the preferred long-term option over Marco Gonzales.

"If Jaime is good to go, we’ll try to find a spot in the rotation for him," Mozeliak said. "When he’s been healthy, Jaime has been a very good pitcher."

Garcia is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis Sunday.


Cardinals P Michael Wacha is now 5-0 after strong outing Friday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/8/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha earned his fifth win of the season during Friday's 8-5 win over the Pirates.

Wacha allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits over six innings of work. He also struck out one batter and walked none.

Wacha is now 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA on the season. He has not allowed more than four runs in any of his six starts this season. His next scheduled start is expected to be Thursday at Cleveland.


Cardinals' Michael Wacha tosses 6 2/3 scoreless innings vs. Pirates


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/3/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha didn't factor into the decision Sunday, giving up just five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out two in his team's 3-2 win in 14 innings.

Wacha had his first rough outing of the year in his last start but was still able to pull out a win, and he then bounced back with his first scoreless performance of the season Sunday. He gave up a leadoff single in the seventh inning but was able to record back-to-back outs on a sacrifice and flyout before coming out of the game with 100 pitches to his credit, though he was unable to win his fifth straight start to open the year after the Pirates tied the game in the ninth inning.

Wacha owns a 1.93 ERA and 18:8 K:BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. He'll square off with the Pirates in Pittsburgh Friday.

Cardinals SP Michael Wacha starts the year 4-0


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/28/2015) Cardinals starter Michael Wacha was not at his best, but did enough to come away with his fourth win of the season Tuesday night at home against Philadelphia.

Wacha (4-0) allowed a run-scoring double to Odubel Herrera and a run-scoring single to Chase Utley in the third inning before allowing another pair of runs to score in the fifth inning. He permitted four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four over 5 2/3 innings of an 11-5 victory.

Wacha owns a 2.42 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 16 strikeouts over 26 innings in four starts to start the season. He will look to go after win No. 5 vs. Pittsburgh on Sunday.


Cardinals' Michael Wacha adds new pitches to repertoire


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Cardinals starter Michael Wacha has added two pitches to his repertoire to help keep opposing batters guessing this season. 

Wacha has been throwing a curveball with more frequency this year. Manager Mike Matheny calls the pitch "nasty", per MLB.com. He also has a cutter that he's throwing more often than his changeup.

"It keeps something in the back of their head that I might be throwing it," Wacha said of the cutter. "I've got confidence in every pitch, and I've had confidence in them. It's just about being able to throw them for strikes and then expanding the zone with those pitches as well. I'm just trying to keep them off balance." 


Cardinals' Michael Wacha improves to 3-0 with win over Nats


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/23/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha only allowed one run in Thursday’s 4-1 victory over the Nationals.

Wacha had a superb game, keeping Nationals batters to just five hits in seven innings. He struck out six batters and only walked two. Wacha’s ERA is now at 1.33 for the season.

"He's just becoming a more versatile pitcher and that makes him less predictable," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, via MLB.com. "I think that's what takes a young pitcher to the next level."

Wacha is now 3-0 this season. 

Wacha’s next projected start is on April 28 against the Phillies.


Cardinals SP Michael Wacha earns second win of season Friday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha tossed seven solid innings of work to pick up his second win of the season during Friday's 6-1 win over the Reds.

"Anytime you're going up against a guy like Cueto, you know you're going to have to match zeroes with him," Wacha said, per MLB.com. "That was the mentality going into it."

Over the seven innings, Wacha surrendered five hits and one run, while walking one and striking out four. His lone blemish was a solo home run to Joey Votto.

Despite coming into the game with a 1.42 ERA, Wacha was able to lower it to 1.35. Wacha has yet to allow more than one run in his first two starts of the season and is 2-0. 

His next expected start will be Thursday at Washington.


Cardinals' Michael Wacha has good history against Reds


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) When Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha takes the hill Friday night against the Reds, it will be his seventh career start against the NL Central foe. It is the opponent he has faced the most thus far in his young MLB career. 

Wacha has had pretty good success against Cincinnati as well. He is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in seven career outings (six starts). He went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts against Cincinnati last season, and beat the Reds in his season debut Saturday (one ER in 6 1/3 innings).

The right-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his six starts against the Reds.


Cardinals' Michael Wacha earns win vs. Reds


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/11/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha picked up a win in his season debut Saturday, giving up one earned run on five hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings while striking out two in his team's 4-1 win over the Reds.

"He was good right off the bat," manager Mike Matheny said of Wacha. "He was working the bottom of the zone, and we were surprised at how good his curveball was. It has always been a good pitch for him, but he didn't have confidence in it. Now that he sees results, he'll trust it and use it."

Wacha surrendered a home run to Todd Frazier in the first inning but buckled down after that, coming out of the game after walking the second batter of the seventh inning. He'll face the Reds again Friday.


Cardinals plan to limit innings for Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/10/2015) Since Michael Wacha had shoulder problems in 2014 and Carlos Martinez has never thrown more than 150 innings in his career, the Cardinals are expecting to limit both starting pitchers at some point this season, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“We have some numbers in mind, but not early on,” manager Mike Matheny said. “I think you’ve got to wait and see where things are leading. If they’re throwing high volume, we’ll worry about that down the road, and we can use the All-Star break or we can use some of our off days to change things. This isn’t something where we need to start holding them back now. I don’t think that’s a great idea. But we don’t need to push.”

Martinez has never thrown more than 120 1/3 innings in one season. General manager John Mozeliak indicated Martinez might be limited to around 150 innings this season.

“Getting in that range would be a fair question," he said.


Cubs, Cardinals postponed Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/7/2015) Tuesday's game between the Cubs and Cardinals has been postponed due to the forecast of rain and sub-freezing wind chills throughout the evening, the Cubs announced.

A makeup date for Tuesday's postponement has yet to be scheduled, but it is likely to come in July or September rather than this week. Jake Arrieta and Lance Lynn were the scheduled starters for Tuesday's matchup.

Lynn has been named the starter for Wednesday's series finale against the Cubs. The Cardinals will keep the rotation in line moving forward, with John Lackey, Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez on tap to face the Reds this weekend. Adam Wainwright is now scheduled to take the mound for the team's home opener Monday against the Brewers.


Cardinals finalize rotation plans for start of season


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Cardinals announced Wednesday starting pitcher Lance Lynn will start the second game of the season on April 7 against the Cubs. It was already previously announced Adam Wainwright would start the season opener Sunday against the Cubs.

John Lackey will then finish out the Chicago series April 8. Michael Wacha will open a three-game series April 10 at Cincinnati, and he will be followed by Carlos Martinez before the rotation resets. 

Lynn is on track to start the home opener on April 13 against the Brewers.


Cardinals' Michael Wacha wins in final Grapefruit League start


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha earned his first victory this spring during Monday's 6-2 win over the Nationals. Wacha (1-0) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks, while striking out three.

Wacha, who made his final Grapefruit League start, posted a 1.77 ERA in five spring starts. He also had 16 strikeouts to four walks in 20 1/3 innings.


Cardinals' Wacha tosses 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday and was engaged in quite the pitcher's duel with Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who struck out nine over six scoreless innings.

Wacha allowed four hits and one walk, while striking out four. He lowered his spring ERA to 1.76 in his fourth spring start.

"I was happy with it," Wacha said of his performance. "[I'm] just continuing to go out there and working on the pitches and strikes, fastball command, down in the zone. Hopefully, I'm on the right track going forward from here."


Cardinals P Michael Wacha pleased with latest outing


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/21/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha was pleased with his latest performance despite getting scored on for the first time this spring.

"I felt really good," he said after being charged with three runs in 4 2/3 innings. "I was real happy with the way the ball was coming out of the hand and the command on my pitches. I was able to throw it pretty much where I wanted to for most of the day. Each time out, [I] just continue to work on the command and control of all my pitches and continue to work down in the zone."

After spending two months on the disabled list, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is encouraged by his progress.

"I don't look at him as anything but a healthy pitcher trying to get ready for the season," the manager said. "Last year ended exactly how we planned it, in that at midseason, he had something come up and we had to back off. That was just being extra precautionary so we could have him ready for spring this year.

"It was a very smart move on the organization's part. The medical staff and the front office wanted to be extra cautious. That was all in preparation for now and apparently it's proven that that was a good thing."

Prior to being scored on Saturday in a 5-4 loss to the Mets, Wacha had allowed just two hits in five innings.


Michael Wacha pitches into fifth inning for Cardinals


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/20/2015) Michael Wacha continued his comeback from a shoulder injury with his longest outing of the spring for the Cardinals on Friday. 

Wacha pitched four and two thirds innings, allowing six hits and three runs, while striking out three. 

Wacha missed the last two months of 2014 with a shoulder stress reaction. In two previous spring starts, he pitched a total of five innings. 

"I don't look at him as anything but a healthy pitcher trying to get ready for the season," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, per MLB.com's Paul Hagen. "Last year ended exactly how we planned it, in that at midseason, he had something come up and we had to back off. That was just being extra precautionary so we could have him ready for spring this year. ... Apparently it's proven that that was a good thing."


Cardinals' Wacha strikes out four of six batters he faced Monday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/9/2015) Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha couldn't have asked for a better spring debut Monday against the Red Sox. The right-handed hurler tossed two perfect innings, which included four strikeouts -- three on changeups.

"I was real happy with the outcome and the way the whole body felt,” Wacha said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Real excited to get that first one.

"I had pretty good feel with (the changeup). Fastball command wasn’t exactly where I wanted it. Other than that, I was real happy with it.”


Cardinals' Wacha learning how to deal with success and adversity


(3/3/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha has had his share of ups and downs throughout his young career, which have included being a postseason standout to having been limited to 19 starts last season due to injury.

"It has been a crazy last couple of years," Wacha said, per MLB.com. "Honestly, I couldn't have imagined everything that's happened since I've been drafted. Just making the big leagues, it's obviously a dream come true."

Having experienced the highs and lows of Major League Baseball, Wacha has his supporters in St. Louis, including manager Mike Matheny.

"Yeah, he's had some success and he's had some adversity," Matheny said about Wacha. "He's a young player, but from the first time he was here, he's got a presence to him that seems like he's been around a lot longer. He's responded really well, and everything we've thrown at him, he seems to be ready for."


Cardinals' Michael Wacha encouraged after throwing BP


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha felt good after tossing batting practice on Wednesday, according to MLB.com.

Wacha said he's "definitely where I need to be" following the session. The 23-year-old missed time due to shoulder issues last season, but said he hasn't experienced any pain since he was activated from the disabled list in September. 

Wacha has happy to finally throw with some hitters in the box. It's good to get back on the mound and face hitters again," he said. "I think you get a little bit more adrenaline going. It's closer to games, obviously, and definitely a step in the right direction."

Last season, Wacha posted a 3.20 ERA over 107 innings. 


Cardinals SP Michael Wacha not having any shoulder issues


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/17/2015) Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha threw a bullpen session Tuesday, with pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak all watching, per MLB.com. 

Wacha got to show the Cardinals brass that he is doing well after being limited to 19 starts in 2014 due to a stress reaction in his shoulder.

"I don't have any of that feeling in the shoulder area," Wacha said. "I'm real happy with everything, the way everything is coming out, the way the arm feels throughout the whole 'pen. Hopefully I'll just keep building off of each bullpen, getting a little more command of each pitch each time out.

"It's a pretty rare injury, and a lot of people don't know how it happened or how to fix it rehab wise. I'm continuing to get stronger, and hopefully I'm building the muscles around the injury to where it doesn't happen again."


Cardinals SP Michael Wacha throws fifth bullpen session Friday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/13/2015) Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha threw his fifth bullpen session of the spring Friday and first since he arrived at the team's spring complex in Florida, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“I definitely wanted to come into spring training ready to go,” Wacha said. “Obviously, I’m not going full-out bullpen right there. I was real happy with the way the ball was coming out. The way the pitches were looking and coming along. There’s still a bunch of work left. It’s definitely making good progress.

“The ball is coming out right, and I’m happy with that. I want to continue to get stronger during spring training, getting all of those pitches back, getting the command down. I felt good. I feel strong when I’m on the mound. The arm has been bouncing back, well, something that I’m really happy with at this point. Everything has been going well.”


Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha ready to get back on the mound


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/18/2015) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha is ready to get back on the field. Mostly because he's been asked about his status "just a couple million times," according to The Associated Press.

With the Cardinals expecting Wacha to be able to handle a larger role on the pitching staff this season, the 23-year-old said Sunday he is optimistic he can handle it.

"Everything's been feeling good this offseason with my workouts, my training, my throwing program," Wacha said. "It's an exciting time for sure, feeling good and strong and excited about spring training coming up."

Wacha was restricted near the end of the season with a shoulder injury, which allowed him to make just four starts and last longer than five innings once. He also gave up the game-winning home run to the Giants in the NLCS.

"I wanted to be out there in that situation," Wacha said. "As a competitor, that's when you want to be out there, when the game's on the line and everyone's depending on you."


Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha cleared to begin throwing


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/18/2015) After an MRI revealed that his shoulder has healed properly, Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha has been cleared to start throwing, reports the Belleville News-Democrat.

Wacha dealt with a stress reaction in his right shoulder toward the end of the 2014 season. In 2014, Wacha went 5-6 with a 3.20 ERA.