Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha will not make his scheduled start Sunday, but the team says he’s healthy and they’re simply giving the 22-year-old some rest to limit his workload.
Wacha has thrown 90.1 innings through 15 starts, putting him on pace for right around 200 innings on the season. Last year he logged 150 innings between the minors and majors.
His sophomore campaign has been every bit as impressive as his standout rookie season, with Wacha posting a 2.79 ERA and 83/26 K/BB ratio in 90 innings to basically match his numbers in most key categories. He tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Mets last time out, striking out seven batters, and hasn’t topped 100 pitches in a start since May 15.
Here’s hoping it’s just a one-start break and Wacha picks up right where he left off next week. Carlos Martinez, who moved from the bullpen to fill in for Adam Wainwright this week, will now start in place of Wacha.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.