In response to that situation, the Cardinals’ front office stayed busy this past week at the trade deadline by acquiring Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians and John Lackey from the Boston Red Sox. Even with those moves in place, however, they might be in line to get one of their studs back and boast an even stronger rotation.
Wacha, working his way back slowly but surely from his injury, insists that he still wants to pitch this season. Set to have a follow-up MRI on his shoulder on Monday, Wacha expressed optimism that he can still pitch.
“It’s been feeling good,” Wacha told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “I’m very confident that I’ll be able to pitch this season.”
With Wacha still just being 23 years old, the Cardinals will continue to face the challenge of balancing a run this season with long-term considerations. Of course they would like to have Wacha back now, but not at the expense of a longer term issue.
For better or for worse, they have a case of a guy with lingering injuries to see and consider in the aforementioned Garcia, who has lost huge chunks of time to shoulder injuries.
Wacha was a star in the post-season for the Cardinals last year and was off to a great start this season: through 15 starts and 90 innings of work he had a 2.78 ERA and an 8.3 K/9 mark. The Cardinals are poised to contend once again in the NL Central, and if Wacha is able to return it will throw a serious wrinkle into the race.