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Jack Flaherty to make season debut for Cardinals on Wednesday

After a lengthy recovery and a pair of minor league rehab assignments, Jack Flaherty is ready to return to the Cardinals’ rotation.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws during the first inning of a baseball...
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 11:41 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - After a lengthy recovery and a pair of minor league rehab assignments, Jack Flaherty is ready to return to the Cardinals’ rotation.

Flaherty will start for the Cardinals on Wednesday night against the Pirates, the team revealed on Tuesday. It will mark the first MLB start of the year for the 26-year-old, as Flaherty has missed the entire season to this point while dealing with discomfort and inflammation in his right pitching shoulder.

The rehab process has been a lengthy one for Flaherty after he received an injection in the shoulder in March, but through a variety of drills and exercises, Flaherty has strengthened his shoulder over the past few months to the extent that made a return to the mound possible.

Flaherty looked sharp in three scoreless innings for Double-A Springfield in his first rehab assignment on June 5, with a pitch count of 30. His next assignment came for Triple-A Memphis on June 10, for which Flaherty worked up to 59 pitches over four innings of work. He allowed just one hit, a solo home run, to go with six strikeouts in another impressive outing.

Building up to a starter’s workload typically takes time, and Flaherty hasn’t yet reached his capacity in that department yet. But given the need in the rotation coupled with Flaherty’s excellent rehab performances in the pitch counts he was allotted, it makes perfect sense to allow Flaherty to continue the process at the big-league level--where the pitches he is able to throw count toward the success of a team in a pennant chase.

Flaherty is expected to again throw around 60 pitches Wednesday, but at a higher intensity level than what he achieved in his last rehab start. Andre Pallante is expected to be available to piggyback behind Flaherty for Wednesday’s game.