Feb 19, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals player Michael Wacha (74) poses for a picture during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals promote Michael Wacha to start on Thursday

Michael Wacha, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 19th pick in last summer’s MLB Draft, will be making his Major League debut on Thursday against the Kansas City Royals.


The Cardinals got the pick as as a result of Albert Pujols signing with the Los Angeles Angels during the previous offseason.

When he throws his first pitch on Thursday, Wacha will become the fourth member of last summer’s draft class to make his debut after second round pick Paco Rodriguez (Los Angeles Dodgers reliever), ninth round pick Michael Roth (Los Angeles Angels pitcher), and first round pick (fourth overall) Kevin Gausman (Baltimore Orioles pitcher).

Wacha entered the season ranked as the 76th best prospect by Baseball America and MLB.com.

Just today, Keith Law revised his Top 25 rankings. While Oscar Taveras was ranked #1, Wacha just barely made the list, coming in at #24.

With the Memphis Redbirds this season, he went 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA. In 52.2 innings pitched, he has allowed 35 hits, 5 walks, and struck out 34 batters. Opponents have a batting average of .187 against Wacha this season in Memphis.

Last season, the Texas native appeared at three levels (Gulf Coast League, Florida State League and Texas League) following his signing. In 21 innings, he had a 0.86 ERA in 11 appearances, including two starts, while allowing 4 walks and striking out 40 batters. He also appeared in two games for Springfield (AA) during the Texas League playoffs.

Wacha will join a St. Louis rotation that definitely have Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and Shelby Miller in set spot. I expect that Wacha will stay in the rotation for the rest of the season, even when Jake Westbrook comes back. Westbrook may not be on the DL for much longer but might seek a second opinion.

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