The St. Louis Cardinals do not know exactly how long they are going to be without stud starting pitcher Michael Wacha, but it appears it is still going to be quite a while.
Dealing with a ‘stress reaction’ in the scapula of his throwing shoulder, Wacha went in for an MRI on Monday with the hopes that he would be able to resume a throwing program. That hope was shot down, as reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
While the scan revealed continued healing of the potential fracture, the Cardinals and their doctors have sided with caution over advancement.
Wacha will have another two weeks of prescribed rest.
The team did note that the MRI showed progress in the right direction. Wacha will then go through this same routine in two weeks and will only be cleared to start throwing if he has made enough progress in his recovery at that point. It seems likely at this point that he might be shut down again after those two weeks given the uncertainty with this type of injury and the caution that the Cardinals will practice with a prized, young pitcher.
Just 23 years old, Wacha has been nothing short of outstanding in his short career. In 30 appearances, 24 of them starts, Wacha has a 2.74 ERA and an 8.6 K/9 mark. He was already the clear cut no. 2 pitcher in a playoff worthy rotation. The Cardinals surely hope to have him back for a postseason run this season, but will prioritize the long-term, big picture if forced to make that type of decision.