St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Michael Wacha will make his major-league debut Thursday, less than a year from being selected 19th overall in the draft.
The 21-year-old will face the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium.
Wacha didn't allow a run in major-league exhibition games, and was barely challenged in nine starts at Triple-A Memphis, where the righty went 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA and allowed just 35 hits in 52 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals are likely to place Jaime Garcia on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Wacha on the 40-man roster, but will still need to create space on the 25-man roster.
Wacha joins Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn and ace Adam Wainwright as part of a deep Cardinals starting rotation that has vaulted the team into first place in the National League Central Division, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds.