Pitch location has been an emphasis for Wacha this spring, especially with the development of his curve ball, hoping to turn that into another plus pitch to go with a fastball that hits 97 and a deceptive change-up. The curve ball showed improvement after last season's call-up and continues to progress this spring.
"It's coming along nicely," Wacha said. "I've definitely got some more work to do. I'm definitely working on it in bullpens and side sessions, and then also the live pitching practice as well."
The Cardinals are holding off naming Wacha to their regular season rotation, but with Garcia's status unknown, it's becoming harder to assemble a rotation that doesn't include Wacha's name.
"When he's right he's working bottom of the zone with great tilt, great angle on the ball and with an above-average, right-handed change up — one of the better ones in the league already," manager Mike Matheny said. "We don't necessarily have another guy exactly like that."
NOTES: Matheny said he plans to hold All-Star catcher Yadier Molina out of the lineup during the first few Grapefruit League games. Molina has looked good in camp, so injury concerns will not drive this decision. Matheny hopes giving Molina a little time off in February and March will soften the need for extra off days during the season. ... Reliever Jordan Swaggerty is experiencing arm weakness and inflammation. He is expected to consult with physicians outside of Cardinals camp before returning to the mound.