Wacha said he's "definitely where I need to be" following the session. The 23-year-old missed time due to shoulder issues last season, but said he hasn't experienced any pain since he was activated from the disabled list in September.
Wacha has happy to finally throw with some hitters in the box. It's good to get back on the mound and face hitters again," he said. "I think you get a little bit more adrenaline going. It's closer to games, obviously, and definitely a step in the right direction."
Last season, Wacha posted a 3.20 ERA over 107 innings.
Wacha got to show the Cardinals brass that he is doing well after being limited to 19 starts in 2014 due to a stress reaction in his shoulder.
"I don't have any of that feeling in the shoulder area," Wacha said. "I'm real happy with everything, the way everything is coming out, the way the arm feels throughout the whole 'pen. Hopefully I'll just keep building off of each bullpen, getting a little more command of each pitch each time out.
"It's a pretty rare injury, and a lot of people don't know how it happened or how to fix it rehab wise. I'm continuing to get stronger, and hopefully I'm building the muscles around the injury to where it doesn't happen again."
“I definitely wanted to come into spring training ready to go,” Wacha said. “Obviously, I’m not going full-out bullpen right there. I was real happy with the way the ball was coming out. The way the pitches were looking and coming along. There’s still a bunch of work left. It’s definitely making good progress.
“The ball is coming out right, and I’m happy with that. I want to continue to get stronger during spring training, getting all of those pitches back, getting the command down. I felt good. I feel strong when I’m on the mound. The arm has been bouncing back, well, something that I’m really happy with at this point. Everything has been going well.”
With the Cardinals expecting Wacha to be able to handle a larger role on the pitching staff this season, the 23-year-old said Sunday he is optimistic he can handle it.
"Everything's been feeling good this offseason with my workouts, my training, my throwing program," Wacha said. "It's an exciting time for sure, feeling good and strong and excited about spring training coming up."
Wacha was restricted near the end of the season with a shoulder injury, which allowed him to make just four starts and last longer than five innings once. He also gave up the game-winning home run to the Giants in the NLCS.
"I wanted to be out there in that situation," Wacha said. "As a competitor, that's when you want to be out there, when the game's on the line and everyone's depending on you."
After an MRI revealed that his shoulder has healed properly,
Wacha dealt with a stress reaction in his right shoulder toward the end of the 2014 season. In 2014, Wacha went 5-6 with a 3.20 ERA.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/7/2014 vs L.A. Dodgers|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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| 12 |
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Postseason Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||0||0||0.00||4||0||0||0||0||8.0||1||0||0||0||0||1||16|
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