An MRI taken on Tuesday morning confirmed damage to Michael Wacha’s scapula. It’s an injury very similar to the one that caused him to miss 2.5 months back in 2014. Wacha has been laboring with the injury over his last few starts and the decision to shut him down is the right one to make. The question that will linger…will Wacha pitch again in 2016?
Wacha was placed on the disabled list with the right shoulder injury after Manager Mike Matheny noticed a drop off in velocity and Wacha didn’t look himself on the mound.
“I just have to try and find different ways to prevent it and keep it from coming back up,” said Wacha. “I’m keeping it positive. Take a little break from throwing and hopefully that irritation goes away and I can get back on the mound and start throwing again without that irritation in there.”
Wacha is 7-7 with a 4.45 ERA.
GM John Mozeliak discusses the injury.
Brandon McCarthy of the Dodgers is the only other pitcher really known to have this type of recurring injury that can’t be corrected through surgery. McCarthy spent several stints on the DL, before changing his delivery. Wacha never changed his delivery after the first injury, but that may be under consideration now, given it’s unlikely he’ll be able to go a full season without recurring flare ups.
While the club is optimistic it won’t be as long of a layoff as 2014 because the injury was caught sooner, the club will have to play wait-and-see with Wacha. Whether or not he will pitch again will depend on if he can come back in a month and a half and if the Cardinals are in the playoff hunt. The chances of him returning and then be effective are narrow.