Michael Wacha

As a starter on Friday against Kansas City, Wacha allowed one run on seven hits. A four-strikeout performance didn’t help his cause in the final score. After five scoreless innings, the Royals finally broke through in the sixth on a Salvador Perez RBI single off Wacha.

Through 20 games started, the 31-year-old righty had a 2.61 ERA, 92 strikeouts to 26 walks. Wacha has gone 8-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 73.1 innings since the beginning of June. He will make his scheduled start in Cincinnati the following week.

Michael Wacha

After losing two in a row to their division foe New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox will play the Kansas City Royals on Friday hoping to get back on track. The Royals, who have lost two straight, will be facing an uphill battle with Jonathan Heasley (3-8, 5.51 ERA) on the mound.

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Career

On June 14, 2012, the Cardinals spent $1.9 million to acquire Wacha after selecting him with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had his draft slot before signing Albert Pujols as a free agent, therefore they gave it to St. Louis Cardinals.

Dan Kantrovitz, the head of scouting for the Cardinals, thought that Wacha, due to his stature and competitive mentality, will one day start for the team, drawing favorable similarities to right-handed pitchers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

In the minor levels, Wacha rose rapidly through the ranks. Before 2012’s end, the Cardinals moved Wacha from the Gulf Coast League (Rookie League) to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League and subsequently to the Springfield Cardinals of the Double-A Texas League.

In 21 innings over three leagues, he struck out 40 and allowed just eight hits, four walks, and two runs (a 0.86 earned run average). He went eight innings, allowed one home run, and struck out seventeen batters for Springfield.

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In 2013, Wacha was invited to MLB spring training by the Cardinals. When he was sent to the minor league camp, he had already impressed the team’s management and players by striking out 15 batters in 11 and third innings of work while allowing just one walk and one unearned run.

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