Wacha has a clear path to a rotation spot after Noah Syndergaard was diagnosed with a torn UCL on Tuesday, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports. Syndergaard will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entirety of the 2020 season. Wacha had looked like potentially the odd man out in a battle with Rick Porcello and Steven Matz for the Mets' final two rotation spots, but all three should now be expected to win jobs.
Wacha is already showing his typical midseason velocity, sitting 92-94 mph with his fastball Sunday and touching 95, Ken Davidoff of The New York Post reports. "I think in the spring, usually it's a tick lower than when I'm in the regular season," the 28-year-old said after the game. "In the regular season, I'm usually from [ninety]-two to -four, touch -five a little, -six every now and then. Right now, I just know it's coming out nice and feeling good." The right-hander has made 30 starts only twice in the last five seasons, and his erratic track record forced him to sign an incentive-laden one-year deal with the Mets this winter. Wacha worked to correct some mechanical issues during the offseason in addition to improving his overall fitness, however, and the results have been positive so far. "Just trying to stay through the ball a little more," he said. "I had gotten a rough patch in my mechanics where I was pulling off on my left side. Probably showing the ball a little bit early. Not really fluid mechanics from what I was used to. Just watched quite a bit of video this offseason to get back to where I needed to be. Definitely made the right changes." Wacha is in a spring battle with Steven Matz and Rick Porcello for the final two spots in the Mets rotation.
Wacha agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Mets on Wednesday, Buster Olney of ESPN reports. Wacha suffered a right shoulder strain in September that caused him to miss the Cardinals' postseason games, but he will likely perform as a back-end starter in the Mets' bullpen, pending a physical. The 28-year-old posted a 4.76 ERA with a career-worst 1.56 WHIP over 126.2 innings last season, but he has shown to be an effective starter in prior seasons.
Wacha (shoulder) tossed a two-inning, 40-pitch simulated game Tuesday in Washington, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Wacha ultimately wasn't activated before the end of the season after the Cardinals' playoff run concluded Tuesday, when the Nationals finished off a four-game sweep in the NLCS. That said, the right-hander's ability to face hitters suggests he'll be in store for a fairly normal offseason. An unrestricted free agent this winter, Wacha should be able to find work as a back-end starter, though it's unclear how much interest the Cardinals might have in retaining him.
Wacha (shoulder) is not on the Cardinals' ALCS roster. St. Louis will use an unchanged roster from the one that beat the Braves in the NLDS. Wacha has been throwing recently as he works his way back from a shoulder strain, but he's evidently still not ready to go.
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