Michael Wacha is gathering dust as the Cardinals’ forgotten man

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Last postseason Shelby Miller was the young, high-upside pitcher ignored by the Cardinals in the playoffs, but this time around it’s Michael Wacha.

Wacha thrived in last year’s postseason as a rookie and was great again this season until shoulder problems sidelined him in mid-June. He returned in September to make four starts, but struggled and has not appeared in a game this postseason despite being on the roster.

So what role is he filling, exactly? Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Wacha is serving as the “extra-inning reliever.” In other words, if the game goes crazy long and the Cardinals run out of pitchers they trust, they’d toss Wacha out there to go as long as he can.

Goold reports that Wacha has told Matheny he’s capable of pitching in a normal relief role, multiple days at a time, but “with each day he’s not used the team becomes less likely to use him because he’s gathered rust.”

He hasn’t pitched in a game since September 26.

Josh Reddick says he and his Astros teammates have received death threats

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Yesterday Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers. In the course of the interview, Fiers revealed that he has received death threats for blowing the whistle on the Astros’ cheating. Rob Manfred said last week, before the interview came out, that Major League Baseball would do everything in its power to protect Fiers and his family both when the A’s play in Houston and when they play anyplace else.

Manfred’s pledge of protection is going to need to be expanded, because today the guys on whom Fiers blew the whistle are saying they’ve received death threats as well.

At least Josh Reddick is saying it:

It’s obviously disgraceful for anyone to have to endure this sort of crap. People need to get a grip.