One nice thing about having an MLB-best 86-46 record on September 2 is that you can look ahead to the playoffs (and beyond) without worrying much about the final month of the regular season.
St. Louis is taking advantage of that by skipping right-hander Michael Wacha from his scheduled start tonight as a way to limit his innings total.
Wacha has pitched brilliantly this season, going 15-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 157 innings, but he was hurt for much of last season and limiting the 23-year-old’s workload makes all kinds of sense.
Left-hander Tyler Lyons will start in Wacha’s place against the Nationals and every indication is that Wacha will take his normal turn in the rotation next week.
Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn rolled his right ankle in the eighth inning of a shutout bid Saturday against the Giants and had to be pulled from the game, but it sounds like he is going to be fine.
According to beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lynn was diagnosed with a “mild” right ankle sprain and team trainers “were encouraged by the limited swelling” in his lower right leg. Lynn was moving around the visitors clubhouse at AT&T Park without a bad limp and even wore his pair of cowboy boots back to the Cardinals’ hotel.
If the husky 28-year-old does need to miss a turn in the rotation, the Cardinals can call on either Tyler Lyons or Tim Cooney. That won’t be difficult with major league rosters expanding on Tuesday.
Lynn worked seven scoreless innings on Saturday in San Francisco and boasts a 2.80 ERA on the year.
Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia had to make an early exit from a start June 24 at Marlins Park after tweaking his left groin muscle. It was initially called a cramp, but he was unable to take his next scheduled turn and now the Cards have placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.
Tim Cooney will remain in the St. Louis rotation, piggybacking Tyler Lyons in Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Garcia boasts a 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in seven starts (48 innings) this season. He’s missed a ton of time to injuries in his career, but most of the major problems have been elbow- and shoulder-related.
The hope is that Garcia will be ready to return in a week or so. He’s been a huge lift for the first-place Cards in the absence of Adam Wainwright.