St. Louis Cardinals: That could’ve been it for Michael Wacha
By Matt Graves
For one St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, Wednesday was a bad start and could’ve been the last day the player had in a Cardinals jersey. Was it?
The career of St. Louis Cardinals‘ pitcher Michael Wacha is one that can easily be called a disappointment. After being drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft, Wacha found himself pitching in the 2013 postseason before he turned 22 years old. He went on to win NLCS MVP and while the Cardinals lost in the World Series, it looked like Wacha was going to be an ace.
From 2013 on, seemingly chronic shoulder issues and other injuries kept Wacha from ever pitching 200 innings in a season with his max being just over 180. He has averaged just 124 innings per year and made just one All-Star team in his seven years with the club.
Wacha has been downright dominant at times in his career but just can’t seem to remain consistent. This year alone, he has been removed and then added back to the starting pitching staff more than twice.
Wacha had been on a roll lately (along with the rest of the rotation) and his start on Wednesday was one that was huge for the Cardinals’ hopes of fending off the Brewers in the NL Central. Unfortunately for Wacha, he was pulled from the game in the second inning with right shoulder tightness which likely is going to end his season.
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Moreover, it will likely end his Cardinals career.
While the Cardinals have gotten benefits from Wacha’s performance, however sparse, in the last seven years, the free-agent-to-be will probably not get an offer from the Cardinals. It’s sad to see, but looking at the rotation, his inconsistency is not something the Cardinals can afford to count on in their rotation moving forward.
Moving on from Wacha, the Cardinals can explore a more established starter by trade or free agency or let a young starter step up. The point is, it seems like the Cardinals are ready to move on from Wacha.
Assuming that Wacha is done for the year, that makes this last, unceremonious start a sad way for his Cardinals career to end after seven years in the fray. Let’s all wish the best for Wacha throughout his career after this year.