When the Cardinals entered spring training, they were thinking that 2012 first-round pick Michael Wacha would probably start the season in the High-A rotation.
Needless to say, they weren’t anticipating him making his major league debut before the end of May.
After an impressive run at Triple-A Memphis that included a 2.05 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over nine starts, Wacha will be called up to make his major league debut on Thursday against the Royals. The work at Memphis came after he wowed the Cards in spring training with a 15/1 K/BB ratio while allowing just an unearned run over 11 2/3 frames.
Wacha struck out just 34 over his 52 2/3 innings at Memphis, so it’s possible he might not rack up a bunch of whiffs at the major league level right away. That said, you only need to take one look at this video to come to the realization that he has the repertoire to get swings and misses.
With Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and John Gast on the DL and Chris Carpenter also still working his way back, Wacha will certainly have an opportunity to state his case for a permanent spot in the rotation. The Cards will keep an eye on his pitch counts and innings, but he’s certainly worth a shot in all fantasy formats right out of the chute.
Jean Segura has done it all this season for the Brewers. On Tuesday, he did something no other major leaguer had done since 2009.
In an extra-innings loss to the Twins, Segura picked up six singles in seven trips to the plate, matching Adrian Gonzalez’s six hits from August 11, 2009. He’s the first shortstop to reach the six-hit plateau since Omar Vizquel did it in 2004 and the third Brewer ever to accomplish the feat.
The big night pushed the shortstop’s average from .347 to .365, which is good enough to lead the National League and trail only Miguel Cabrera among all players. Segura has tallied three straight multi-hit games and a total of 23 multi-hit efforts in 48 starts.
With eight homers, 14 steals and 30 runs to go along with his league-leading batting mark, Segura has been a top-10 fantasy hitter this season.
Hanley Ramirez ran the bases for a second straight day Tuesday and didn’t have any issues with his strained left hamstring. The shortstop has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday and will remain there through the weekend. If he doesn’t encounter any setbacks, he should be activated from the disabled list next Monday.
Also ready for a rehab assignment is Jayson Werth, though he’ll be resuming, rather than starting, his. The outfielder will report to High-A Potomac on Wednesday after going through a pair of workouts Tuesday with no problems with his right hamstring. The Nationals haven’t revealed how many rehab games he’ll need, but he seems likely to be on a similar schedule as Hanley, with a return possibly over the weekend or early next week.
The news is also good with Josh Reddick. Reddick began a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton on Monday and continued it with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. The outfielder got a base hit in each game and, more importantly, hasn’t had any issues with his right wrist. Barring a setback, the A’s should get him back for the weekend series versus the White Sox.
There was finally some positive news to report with Aaron Hill, as a CT scan taken of his fractured left hand Tuesday showed that it was "mildly improved." Hill will be eased into baseball activities to see how the hand responds. The second baseman’s progress has crawled along at a snail’s pace, but he’s finally headed in the right direction.
The news wasn’t so good with Corey Hart. Hart said last Monday that he was hoping to begin a rehab assignment in a week, but he’s not ready yet. The first baseman is still having issues with his surgically-repaired right knee when he runs, and the Brewers obviously want him totally comfortable before they allow him to test things out in a game situation. He is progressing, but it’s just coming slowly. It will likely be at least a few weeks into June before he’s activated.
Like Hart, Austin Jackson is also coming along, but slower than hoped. Tigers manager Jim Leyland is hoping that A-Jax will be ready to begin a rehab assignment over the weekend, but that doesn’t seem realistic. Jackson has yet to be cleared to hit or ramp up his running. He should get the green light for increased activity by the end of the week, but a rehab assignment doesn’t seem to be terribly close.
National League Quick Hits: Hyun-Jin Ryu was fantastic Tuesday, spinning a two-hit shutout against the Angels to lower his ERA to 2.89 ... Matt Harvey took a no-decision but allowed just one run while striking out 10 Yankees batters Tuesday ... Bryce Harper will sit out through Thursday due to bursitis in his left knee ... Nate Karns struggled in his major league debut Tuesday, allowing three runs over 4 1/3 against the Orioles. He’ll get another shot this weekend in Atlanta ... Adam LaRoche blasted two homers Tuesday, giving him seven in May and 10 for the season ... Tyler Lyons put up a second straight strong start Tuesday, tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Royals ... Angel Pagan has bursitis in his right hamstring and is considered day-to-day ... Carlos Zambrano threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his first start for High-A Clearwater Tuesday. He might join the Phillies’ rotation after one more minor league start ... Nathan Eovaldi (shoulder) could rejoin the Marlins' rotation as soon as June 9 ... Arodys Vizcaino has been ruled out for the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow ... Brian McCann launched a pair of homers Tuesday, giving him six in 16 games since returning from the DL ...
American League Quick Hits: Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the season Tuesday, giving up two runs in a loss to the Mets. Remarkably, it was the first time in his career that he failed to retire a batter while blowing a save ... The Red Sox are expected to call up Jackie Bradley prior to Wednesday’s game. He should play pretty regularly until Shane Victorino returns ... Michael Morse had to leave Tuesday’s game with a strained quad but is considered day-to-day ... Rick Porcello struck out a surprising 11 batters while tossing eight scoreless innings Tuesday against the Pirates ... Kevin Gausman was blasted for seven runs over four innings against the Nationals Tuesday, but he’ll get another start this weekend ... The Rays optioned Jake Odorizzi to Triple-A after Tuesday’s game. They seem likely to call up Chris Archer to take his spot in the rotation ... Torii Hunter will miss games on Friday and Saturday in order to attend his son's high school graduation ... Tommy Hanson has been activated from the restricted list and will rejoin the Angels’ rotation. The Halos will go with six starters for now ... Kevin Youkilis (back) will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday and, like Mark Teixeira (wrist), could return this weekend ... Chris Perez will not throw for 5-7 days after being diagnosed with mild tendinitis of his right rotator cuff ...