The Cardinals plan on keeping the work load manageable for the 6-6, 210-pounder, but haven’t disclosed an innings threshold.
“We’ll figure it out in time and not give him too much to worry about except the next pitch he has to throw,” Matheny said. “We feel like we have his best interest in our minds.”
The team said it will have the majors’ youngest rotation with average age of 25 and including 22-year-old rookie Shelby Miller, who’s 5-3 with a 2.02 ERA. Four pitchers are on the 15-day disabled list.
Lyons is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, allowing a run in seven innings both of his games, and Gast is 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA in three starts. Rookie reliever Seth Maness is 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA and another top prospect, Carlos Martinez, was sent down to Memphis to build up innings in case they need him to start, too.
“When they show up, they’re ready,” Matheny said. “They’re not overwhelmed.”
One reporter recalled Wacha saying in spring training that his goal was not to make the major leagues, but to win games in World Series.
“Just set the goals high,” Wacha said. “I guess that’s the reason. It always gives you something to strive for.”
Chris Carpenter has yet to pitch while rehabbing from a nerve issue on the right side of his body. Jaime Garcia is out for the year following shoulder surgery and Jake Westbrook has been sidelined with right elbow inflammation since early May.
Westbrook cancelled a visit to Dr. James Andrews Monday when he made dramatic improvement during a bullpen session. He believes he’ll need two rehab starts when he’s ready to take that step.