Cardinals tab Michael Wacha for Thursday start

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they will promote rookie right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha from Memphis (AAA) to start Thursday night's (May 30) game at Busch Stadium against the Kansas City Royals. The team will announce a corresponding player move prior to Wacha's start.

Wacha, 21, was the Cardinals #1 draft selection (19th player overall) last June out of Texas A & M University. The 6-6, 210-pound Texarkana, Texas native is currently 4-0 with a Pacific Coast League-leading 2.05 ERA in nine starts for the Memphis Redbirds. Wacha has allowed just 35 hits in his 52.0 innings pitched this season for a .187 opponent's batting average.

Wacha appeared at three levels (Gulf Coast League, Florida State League and Texas League) last season following his signing and posted a 0.86 ERA in 11 appearances (two starts) while striking out 40 batters in 21.0 innings pitched with only four walks. He also appeared in two games during the Texas League playoffs for Springfield (AA).

Wacha will become the eighth rookie pitcher to appear on the Cardinals roster this season and the 10th pitcher age 25 or younger to do so. The Cardinals have received a Major League-leading 12 wins from rookie pitchers this season.