Exit Interview: Michael Wacha

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Name: Michael Wacha

Season stats: 4-1, 2.78 ERA, 15 games, 64.2 IP, 52 H, 19 BB, 65 K, 1.10 WHIP

Hero/Goat: Hero 6, Goat 2

Overall grade: A

Positives: Everyone knows about his playoff run.  How he time and again kept the Cardinals’ season alive until they asked too much of him.  How he almost set a record for most wins in a postseason–not just for a rookie.  Of course, that run really started when he got back into the rotation at the end of September, when he went 2-1 with a 1.72 ERA, which included giving up four runs in the thin air of Colorado.  There was that almost no-hitter as well, of course.  If you don’t know about Michael Wacha, well, you don’t know much about baseball.

Negatives: He wasn’t as perfect in his first time to the bigs (1-0, 4.58 ERA in three starts), though that’s skewed by allowing six to the Diamondbacks.  His command was lacking in the World Series (four walks in each start) and he could have easily lost Game 2 after giving up a two-run homer to David Ortiz.  And, while you are picking nits, it’s possible there were too many Fozzie Bear references made out of his name.  Strike that.  You can never have too many Fozzie Bear references.

Outlook: When Wacha was drafted, it was thought that he was a fairly well developed player that would probably reach his ceiling quickly.  You would expect that he’ll have some rough patches next year, but Wacha has developed beyond expectations and being in a clubhouse with Adam Wainwright can only help.  Don’t expect perfection out of him next year and you probably will be very pleased with the performance he turns in.

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