Every year in MLB, baseball teams call up the next big prospect to see just how well they can handle the big leagues. Some of those rookies start off on the right foot and keep it going their whole careers. Other rookies just never learn how to handle the majors and become minor league ballplayers for the rest of their careers. Then there’s the rookies who light a fire under themselves and their team, but fizzle out as the season goes on.
The last of those of that can be used to describe St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha.
He’s not the only rookie to have a season like that though. Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers came up to the big leagues and helped the Dodgers go from worst to first in the National League West. However, as the season went on, he began to come back down to earth. In the postseason, he made a few blunders in the outfield and wasn’t the dominant presence the Dodgers needed at the plate.
Wacha’s teammate Kolten Wong even made a huge rookie blunder by getting picked off at first base for the final out of Game 4 of the World Series, which led to the Boston Red Sox tying the series up at two games a piece.
Ever since his final start of the regular season, Wacha was as close to unhittable as a pitcher can be in every game he pitched in until Game 6. Prior to this deciding game, Wacha could have even been considered the Cardinals’ ace of the postseason, but that may have changed in everyone’s eyes after his performance.
It’s where Wacha goes from here that will determine exactly how his career will go. Does losing the deciding game of the World Series affect his confidence going forward? Or does he take this in stride and continue to up his game and become the true ace of this pitching staff? At the age of 22, he has a lot of years ahead of him and even if he never becomes an ace, he sure has the goods to be a dominant no. 2 in any team’s rotation.
Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org