Michael Wacha ready, excited for move to bullpen - KMOV.com

Michael Wacha ready, excited for move to bullpen

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) -- Coming out of the bullpen is definitely not something Cards rookie Michael Wacha is used to.  Essentially by definition if you're a top pitcher you're going to be a starter in college and in the minor leagues.  So being told he's going to relieve for the relatively near future is certainly going to be a change for the former Texas A&M Aggie.

"It's definitely something totally different but you just have to have the mindset that you're going to be pitching that day," Wacha says.  "Down in the bullpen you just have to stay focused.  As soon as that phone rings you just have to be anticipating you're the next guy coming up."

One thing to keep an eye on is will Wacha throw any harder out of the bullpen?  A lot of time starters who move to the bullpen pick up a few miles per hour on their fastballs - such as Joe Kelly and Kevin Siegrist - because they don't have to worry about saving anything for later innings.  They can let it all go. 

Will Wacha be the same way?

"Last year when I was (pitching out of the bullpen) in AA the velocity was definitely increased.  I was able to get quite a few strikeouts just blowing fastballs by guys.  But this is a totally different level now in the big leagues.  I'm pretty curious to see how it works out.  Just having the one inning to blow it out will be really fun," Wacha said.

Cards manager Mike Matheny says Wacha is available for use out of the bullpen for tonight's game against the Pirates.

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