Wacha only threw 30 pitches from the mound on Saturday at Busch Stadium. It’s a considerable amount of progress from where the pitcher was two months ago when the club shut him down indefinitely due to a stress reaction in his shoulder.
“It’s one of those deals that whenever you’re cleared to throw, it’s a big day for you,” Wacha said according to MLB.com. “Whenever you’re cleared for your first ‘pen, it’s a big day. But I know it’s still a long road to go. I’ll keep working hard and stay the course.
“It felt good to get back out there on the mound, the first time in a while. My arm felt great.”
Wacha will have another MRI on Monday. Should the MRI show that Wacha’s shoulder is healing fine, the pitcher will be expected to throw off the mound every two to three days.
Wacha could make a minor league rehab start but it appears that a simulated game is likely given that most of the Cardinals affiliates will see their regular seasons end on September 1st.
With minor league seasons ending at the start of September, the Cardinals are going to start thinking about who they will call up to the big leagues.
From an offensive perspective, the following are already on the 40-man roster so it seems likely that they could be called up: Randal Grichuk, Greg Garcia, Audry Perez and Pete Kozma. Two players, Xavier Scruggs and Stephen Piscotty, are possible call-ups but the Cardinals would have to remove somebody to clear a spot for them. On the pitching front, expect Carlos Martinez to be recalled. Tyler Lyons, Marco Gonzales, Eric Fornataro and Jorge Rondon might find themselves in St. Louis soon, too.
Making the decision all the more interesting is that the Memphis Redbirds are currently tied for first in the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division.