The St. Louis Cardinals could have a totally revamped starting rotation by the time we get to September. Having already acquired Justin Masterson and John Lackey at the trade deadline, it sounds like the team is getting closer and closer to having Michael Wacha return.
This past weekend Wacha indicated that he still believed he could pitch this season. Now it turns out that was more than just wishful thinking from the young pitcher himself, as the team advanced him in a substantive way in his rehab process on Monday.
According to the St. Louis Dispatch, Wacha started a throwing program and will be reassessed over the course of the next couple weeks. A return to the mound is not imminent by any means, but the front office shares Wacha’s optimism that he can return:
General manager John Mozeliak wouldn’t speculate on how long it would be before the righthander could pitch again, but he said he asked the question of the club’s medical staff, “Are you optimistic that he will pitch this year in the major leagues? They said, ‘Yes.’
“At the end of the day, it’s whether you do or you don’t,” said Mozeliak. “But ‘optimism’ is a fair word right now.”
Mozeliak continued to say that the team is confident that Wacha is ready for the “next step.”
Last year Wacha burst onto the scene and was a key player as the Cardinals charged to the World Series. For different reasons entirely in 2014, it sounds like he might once again be a late season arrival poised to make a big difference.