While starting against the Tampa Bay Rays, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny saw something in Wacha that he didn’t really like.
“The reason is just like what we’ve said from the beginning — we’re going to give him time, going to have to through the course of the season,” Matheny said before Thursday’s game according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold. “He was a little tired the start (against Tampa Bay) and that put up our antennae that this might be a good time. Carlos gets built up — makes it an easy segue for us.”
Because Martinez will get another spot start, Nick Greenwood will remain on the roster for long relief.
This is a good move for the Cardinals. It’s not seen as limiting his innings in as much as it is a way to prevent his right arm from blowing out. I, for one, am all in favor of pitchers regularly getting an extended rest so that there arms are fresh for the postseason. They did the same thing during the 2013 campaign with Shelby Miller, who mysteriously disappeared during the postseason even though he finished as a National League Rookie of the Year finalist.
We saw something similar during Spring Training this year with catcher Yadier Molina. The Cardinals, hoping not to see a repeat of a stretch of games last season that saw Molina placed on the DL due to his knee, wisely kept Molina out of several spring games.