Cardinals add Michael Wacha to roster

ST. LOUIS, MO, May 30, 2013 - The St. Louis Cardinals have purchased Michael Wacha from Memphis (AAA) today and the rookie right-hander is slated to make the start tonight in the Cardinals series finale against the Kansas City Royals. Wacha will wear uniform # 52.

To make room for Wacha on both the 25-man active roster and the 40-man Major League roster, the Cardinals optioned right-handed pitcher Michael Blazek to Memphis and transferred left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

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 was 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).

The last Cardinals rookie pitcher to draw a promotion to the majors quicker than Wacha was Cris Carpenter (1st round pick in 1987 out of the University of Georgia) who debuted on May 14, 1988 in a 19-inning game between the Cardinals and Braves.

Wacha becomes 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 13 wins from rookie pitchers this season.