Wacha is the Cardinals Adam Wainwright clone as a prospect in the organization. He’s of a similar build to Wainwright. He has a similar demeanor on and off the mound. He even has a similar repertoire to the Cardinal ace.
I don’t need to remind you how Waino established himself in the big leagues back in 2006. If you don’t know, just ask his teammate, Carlos Beltran.
Why not throw Wacha on the same career path as his soon-to-be mentor? The exposure to the veterans on the staff and in the clubhouse, and the indoctrination to the “Cardinal Way” did wonders for Wainwright at the beginning of his career. I think the same can happen for the 2012 first round pick out of Texas A&M.
As a 20-year old last year in the minors, Wacha threw 21.0 combined innings between rookie ball, high-level A ball, and double-A ball. He struck out forty batters, walked just four and crafted a combined 0.86 ERA.
This spring with the major league club in Jupiter, Wacha did not allow a single earned run in 11.0 innings pitched covering five appearances. He allowed just seven hits and struck out 15 of the 44 batters he faced.
As you can see, this guy has the stuff to miss bats in the ninth inning.
Now, GM John Mozeliak and Matheny will likely consider this particular option No. 79 on the list of alternatives to Boggs. That I understand. But I’m also crazy enough to think it could be the answer this year, and be in the best interest of Wacha long-term before he joins the rotation full time in 2014.
5) Kobe. Bean. Bryant.
I am by no means a Kobe fan. Anyone who knows me knows where my NBA allegiances lie.
I personally believe he would have fewer rings on his finger if not for the presence of Shaquille O’Neal in the first phase of his career.
I also believe he would have more jewelry in his collection if he didn’t have the arrogance to contribute in running Shaq out of town before the big fella was out of his prime (Shaq takes blame in the matter, too).
But no one wants to see a player and competitor of Bryant’s caliber suffer an injury of that kind. The game will suffer without Bryant to contribute to the storyline.
The Lakers are probably going to be the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Now, a potential matchup with the defending Western Conference champions, Oklahoma City, in the first round has lost its luster.
Kobe was playing 38.6 minutes a game at age 34, in his 17th NBA season. That’s absurd. Only Chicago’s marathon man, Luol Deng, was playing more minutes per game this season.
Bryant was on par, minutes-wise, with Portland’s dynamic whirling dervish, Damian Lillard. Lillard is likely going to be the NBA Rookie of the Year (he’s that good), but he’s also twelve years younger than the ageless Vino.
Get well soon, Mamba.