The St. Louis Cardinals and their fans have had a back-and-forth recently about the various question marks in their rotation. And, by question marks I mean fans are questioning why Lance Lynn has not been replaced in the rotation. Lynn, it seems, can’t seem to get credit for pitching as well as he has which, in fact, has been a performance worthy of the number two slot behind Adam Wainwright.
Assuming that concern is being assuaged, the next in line for rumor and castigation is mystery man Shelby Miller, he of the 2013 playoffs disappearing act. Despite the popular opinion, neither one of these pitchers are a particular concern. Lynn has been good, and Miller is still learning to mix his speeds and movements.
What is concerning is Michael Wacha. Wacha is short-arming the ball and seems to be more and more vulnerable each time he’s called upon.
Wacha looks to be rushing his delivery and releasing the ball with no movement. In recent outings, there have been several times he has shown an inability to get in on the hands of hitters, which has resulted in extra-base hits for the opposing team. Wacha may be suffering from a sore oblique, as he is short-arming the ball, however were he to continue that behavior, he may actually risk his shoulder getting seriously injured, thus the need for concern. The Cardinals have plenty of options available to them if Wacha needs to be shelved, both at the big-league level and on the farm.
Those are short-term solutions – the fact is for the Cardinals to reach their potential, Wacha must be performing his best. So if there is any kind of issue affecting his mechanics, it must be addressed immediately.