Cardinals must make a tough pitching decision Friday

Posted by Scott Wuerz on June 13, 2013 

The Cardinals will have to make a roster decision before Friday's game against the Marlins as starting pitcher Jake Westbrook is ready to come off the disabled list.

While some would like to see 2012 first round draft pick Michael Wacha sent back to Class AAA Memphis to get some more seasoning, I'm not sure what's left to prove there.

Wacha, despite a few bumps in the road, has proved he is good enough right now to make a contribution at the major league level. Since the Cardinals were forced to call him up before they might have liked because of injury, what is done is done. So the Cardinals ought to make the best of it and keep pushing forward.

According to the Cardinals, Wacha will be limited to about 150 innings of work in his first full season in the major leagues. That seems like a lot. But he's already worked 70 innings between his time in the minors and with the parent club. Does it make sense for the Cardinals to send Wacha back to Class AAA to make 10 or 11 starts and then shut him down for the season? Or would it make more sense to Let Wacha make six or seven more major league starts and then put him in the St. Louis bullpen to help down the stretch like Shelby Miller did in 2012?

In the short term the Cardinals could put southpaw Tyler Lyons -- who has had better numbers in his brief time in the big leagues against righty batters than lefties -- in the bullpen and send Keith Butler back to Memphis. Or they could send down Lyons to continue starting in case the parent club needs an emergency starter.

 

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