Michael Wacha Injury: Updates on Cardinals Star's Shoulder and Return

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured Columnist

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha has been placed on the disabled list while dealing with right shoulder inflammation. It's unclear when he will return to the mound.

Continue for updates.


Reyes Recalled to Replace Wacha on Active Roster

Tuesday, Aug. 9

The Cardinals announced top prospect Alex Reyes (No. 9 overall, per MLB.com) has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis to replace Wacha.

This season has been an underwhelming one compared to his All-Star campaign from 2015 in which he went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA. 

Through 23 starts this season, Wacha has put up a 7-7 record to go with a 4.45 ERA. 

He also narrowly avoided injury after taking a line drive off his right leg during a July 8 game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He suffered nothing more than a contusion and didn't miss a start. 

But he just wasn't able to reclaim the same kind of form that made him such a formidable pitcher in 2015. Seven of his first 20 starts lasted just five innings or less, and nine of them saw him allow seven or more hits. 

His struggles, along with St. Louis' struggles to get consistent pitching from most of its starters, is what has it fighting for its playoff lives as it sits 11 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and tied for the second NL wild-card spot with the Miami Marlins.

Now with Wacha out, more pressure will fall onto the shoulders of the young Carlos Martinez, who leads the Cardinals with a 10-7 record with a 3.29 ERA.

But St. Louis will have to look for a fifth starter to fill Wacha's place as the starting rotation has remained relatively healthy all season. The Cardinals have had only six pitchers start a game this season, and five of them have had over 20. 

Without a dependable fifth arm, the deficit the Cardinals are facing in their division could worsen even more. 

    

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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