ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Wacha's lone rehab start lasted just two innings, but it was enough for the St. Louis Cardinals to plug him back into the rotation in a high-pressure game.
"His resume speaks for itself," general manager John Mozeliak said. "When he was throwing, he could be dominant. And frankly, he's very fresh."
The 23-year-old Wacha will replace Justin Masterson on Thursday at Milwaukee. He'll be making his first start since mid-June against the Cardinals' closest competition in the NL Central.
"I knew that might have been in consideration, didn't know if they were going to do it or not," Wacha said. "But I'm real happy with it. Definitely looking forward to Thursday."
Manager Mike Matheny said Wacha, a breakout rookie star last year who was the NL championship series MVP, will be limited to around 60 pitches at Milwaukee. The 23-year-old right-hander is 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts and has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder stress reaction.
Mozeliak said Wacha could have made a second rehab start for Triple-A Memphis, but thought pitching in the majors "made the most sense."
Rookie Marco Gonzales and Tyler Lyons, lefties who were among five players added Tuesday, will be ready for long relief in that game.
"He'll have some help close behind him," Matheny said.
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