JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t setting any limits for young pitcher Michael Wacha.
“I don’t see any reason why there is the buzz about the workload,” St. Louis pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said. “He had 170 innings last year. You can think he could be a 200-inning guy this year. At the end of the day we need some guys who can give us 200 innings.”
Wacha’s readiness became more important this weekend, when the Cardinals announced that Jaime Garcia had returned to St. Louis to have his surgically repaired shoulder examined. Last season, only Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn eclipsed the 200-inning mark for the Cardinals.
Wacha’s breakout came in the postseason where he went 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA and 33 strikeouts.
“It was a lot of fun, that’s for sure, being on that kind of stage and performing the way we all did,” Wacha said. “Those expectations are going to be set pretty high after the season we all just had.”