Cardinals tab rookie Wacha as Thursday starter

ST. LOUIS — The wait for Michael Wacha is over.

The much anticipated arrival of the right-handed rookie starter will come Thursday, as Wacha debuts against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals announced the decision Tuesday morning, news that comes after the buzz around the 6-foot-6 pitcher has grown rampant due to the Cardinals currently having four starters on the disabled list.

Wacha, 21, was the Cardinals first pick (ninth overall) in the 2012 MLB Draft. The former Texas A&M pitcher is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA with the Cardinals Triple-A team in Memphis. In nine starts, he has allowed 35 hits in 52 innings pitched for a .187 opponent’s batting average.

He will be the eighth rookie pitcher to appear on the Cardinals roster this season, and the 10th pitcher age 25 or younger to do so. Cardinals rookie pitchers have accounted for 12 wins this season.

The Cardinals will need to shuffle its roster to make room for Wacha. A corresponding player move is expected to be announced before his Thursday start.

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