Michael Wacha throws some practice pitches as pitching coach Brent Lilliquist and head coach Mike Matheny watch. By Eric Lorenz
(BaseballSTL) – Cardinals top-pitching prospect Michael Wacha will make his major league debut Thursday against the Kansas City Royals, the team announced Tuesday.
Wacha, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, is 4-0 in nine starts for AAA-Memphis this season. He’s posted a 2.05 ERA and .95 WHIP with 34 strikeouts this year while holding opponents to a .187 batting average.
Cardinals’ left-hander John Gast left Saturday’s start against the Dodgers with shoulder tightness and the team placed him on the 15-day DL shortly after.
Pitcher Michael Blazek was initially called up for Gast. The Cardinals said they would announce a corresponding move to Wacha’s callup prior to Thursday's game.
Wacha will become the eighth rookie pitcher to make an appearance for the Cardinals this season. The team has gotten a major league-leading 12 wins from rookie pitchers so far this year.