Michael Wacha says he is “extremely healthy”

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, recovering from a stress fracture in his scapula, underwent an MRI on his right shoulder before signing autographs at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The results continue to be good, and Wacha says he feels “extremely healthy”.

The Cardinals plan to use him without limitations as soon as pitchers and catchers report on February 19. Wacha hasn’t thrown off of a mound yet, but he plans to report early to the team’s complex to clear that hurdle ahead of spring training.

Wacha suffered the injury in June, cutting out nearly three months of his season. He returned in early September and had decent results, though he didn’t pitch deep into games. Wacha finished the 2014 season with a 3.20 ERA and a 94/33 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

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Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.