7:28pm: St. Louis GM Mike Girsch says that Wacha will not return this season, as MLB.com’s Jen Langosch tweets. Wacha’s oblique injury was aggravated, removing any chance of his return.
1:54pm: The Cardinals announced Monday that they’ve activated right-hander Adam Wainwright from the 60-day disabled list and transferred righty Michael Wacha from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL in order to create space on the roster.
The 37-year-old Wainwright will start tonight’s game against the Pirates, marking his first appearance since May 13. The three-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young runner-up has been bothered by elbow issues for much of the season after initially landing on the DL for inflammation back in May. He’s been limited to four appearances in 2018, totaling just 18 innings of work for the Cards in that time.
Wainwright told reporters back in Spring Training that he had no plans to talk about his future in the game and has, to this point, held to that stance (link via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Rick Hummel). But given that the 2018 season is the final year on Wainwright’s contract, there’ll be plenty of speculation as to whether the next few weeks with the Cards represent his big league swan song. Any such determination surely won’t come until after the season, though, and it stands to reason that the manner in which he performs and his ability to recover after this month’s starts will prove instructive in making that call. Wainwright is earning $19.5MM this season in the final year of a five-year, $95MM extension he signed prior to the 2014 campaign.
As for Wacha, he hasn’t taken the mound since mid-June due to what seems to be a severe oblique injury. It should be noted that today’s news doesn’t technically mean his season is over. Wacha had already been on the disabled list for 60 days, so he’d already have filled that minimum requirement should the Cards deem him ready to pitch between now and season’s end. There’s been no indication that’s likely, however; to the contrary, Wacha was actually scratched from a rehab start last week due to renewed discomfort in his ailing oblique muscle. The 27-year-old enjoyed a fair bit of success when healthy this season, pitching to a 3.20 ERA with 7.6 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings over the life of 15 starts.
I think if they want him to help the team the rest of the way maybe he can close games out. Might as use him the way he came into the league
I agree with you stubby66. Not really much room for him in the rotation that has been pretty consistent with him being injured and C-Mart being in the pen after his injury.
stan lee the manly
They are trying to save the young arms. A lot of the rotation, including Mikolas and Flaherty, are about to surpass their highest inning total and they still have October if they qualify.
Stan lee the manly I can understand that.
They’re starting Daniel ponce de Leon…. They have room in the rotation.
Wacha’s season is over. They’re shutting him down.
Tough to see him slotting into the rotation, seems like a major risk. As a Pirates fan, I’ve admired the Cardinals ability to have consistently great starting pitching. It’s sad to see the careers of guys like Chris Carpenter and Wainwright end so swiftly. He still had probably the nastiest curveball I’ve seen.
Are we gonna get the have to get better speech after this outing?
The first hit off of Wainwright was a Homerun. He went through the first inning clean. Maybe he should just be a reliever the rest of the way.
Wainwright has been such a fixture and the face for the Cardinals ever since he closed the final game of the 2004 World Series!! It makes me sick to see him fail this way. I wish he was going out on a high note, with all of his dignity.
It was the 2006 World Series, and he still can go out on a high note. The results weren’t great or even very good tonight, but he still got through 5 innings healthy while keeping the game close enough for the Cardinals to come back and win the game.
Ultimately, the Cardinals need some decent innings out of him in the rotation the rest of the way to save the arms of the rookie brigade, and he might even have one last magical postseason left in his arm for all we know.
He will have one last opportunity to pitch in the playoffs. He will come in game 7 in the 8th inning of the Nlcs and hand it off to Martinez to beat the Brewers. There’s my prediction.