Wacha was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with hamstring tightness, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The 29-year-old was rocked for four runs over 2.2 innings Sunday, and the hamstring issue apparently cropped up while he was doing some running Monday, per Topkin. Wacha isn't expected to face a significant absence and could return when eligible May 13. Rich Hill could be asked to pitch deeper for the Rays with Wacha sidelined.
Wacha yielded four runs on five hits over 2.2 innings while striking out three during Sunday's win over Houston. He did not factor in the decision.
Wacha took the mound in the fourth inning and quickly gave up a solo shot to Yordan Alvarez after Rich Hill tossed three scoreless frames to start the afternoon. He then allowed two runs in the fifth and was charged with another run in the sixth after he was lifted from the game. The 29-year-old righty saw his season ERA jump to 4.76 through 28.1 innings.
Wacha will be available out of the bullpen for Sunday's game against the Astros and is expected to enter the contest once starter Rich Hill exits, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Manager Kevin Cash hasn't specified whether Hill and Wacha would be deployed as tandem starters, or if Wacha will merely be tasked with covering an inning or two once Hill's day is done. Regardless, the move to the bullpen -- even if only temporary -- will take Wacha out of the mix for starting in any of the Rays' four games against the Angels to begin the upcoming week. The recent addition of rookie Shane McClanahan gives the Rays six starting options, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the team will deviate from a five-man rotation.
Wacha didn't factor into the decision in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the A's, giving up one run on five hits over five innings. He struck out two without walking a batter.
The right-hander was far from dominant but did pound the strike zone, tossing 52 of 69 pitches for strikes while issuing zero free passes for the first time in five trips to the mound. Wacha will take a 3.86 ERA and 23:8 K:BB through 25.2 innings into his next outing.
Wacha allowed three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out a batter over 5.2 innings and was not involved in the decision during Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Royals.
All three runs Wacha let in came via the long ball. Hunter Dozier took him deep to left in the second for a two-run blast and then Jorge Soler led off the fourth by absolutely crushing a fastball down the middle. The 29-year-old Wacha induced just one whiff on 36 swings, as it was his first time managing just one strikeout in a start since Sept. 20, 2019. He'll carry a 4.35 ERA into his next scheduled start against the Athletics on Tuesday.
Wacha (1-1) allowed one hit and two walks while striking out nine in six scoreless innings to earn the win against the Yankees on Friday.
Wacha didn't allow a runner to get past first base in the first six innings Friday, and his nine strikeouts matched the highest total of his career. The right-hander got plenty of late run support from Tampa Bay's offense to cruise to his first win of the year. He's now posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 20 strikeouts in 15 innings across three appearances (two starts) to begin the season. Wacha lines up to make his next start on the road against Kansas City on Wednesday.
Wacha entered Sunday's extra-inning loss to the Yankees in the third inning and allowed three earned runs on three hits and three walks over four frames. He struck out five and did not factor into the decision.
Wacha allowed the Yankees to begin their comeback by serving up a two-run home run to Gio Urshela shortly after entering in the third inning, and as evidenced by his final line, he struggled with control overall. The right-hander's first two regular-season appearances have bore zero resemblance to his excellent spring, as Wacha career-long issues with location have surfaced in the form of five walks over his first nine innings, during which he's also already surrendered 11 hits. He'll look to bounce back in what will likely be a conventional start his next turn through the rotation, potentially Friday night on the road against the Yankees.
Wacha is expected to serve as a bulk reliever behind opener Brent Honeywell in Sunday's game against the Yankees, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
Though Honeywell was once one of the top starting pitching prospects in all of baseball, Berry notes that the Rays are likely planning on the right-hander covering just an inning or two before giving way to Wacha. As a result of pitching behind an opener, Wacha may struggle to reach the five innings he covered in his Rays debut April 5 against Boston, but the arrangement should improve the 29-year-old's chances of factoring into any decision.
Wacha (0-1) took the loss Monday as the Rays were routed 11-2 by the Red Sox, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out six.
The whiffs were nice but otherwise it was a rough Rays debut for Wacha, who tossed 65 of 90 pitches for strikes. Tampa has plenty of rotation alternatives in the organization, so the right-hander may need to turn things around quickly to keep his spot, but his track record (4.53 ERA and 1.43 WHIP since 2016) isn't encouraging. Wacha faces a tough test in his next scheduled start Sunday at home against the Yankees.
Wacha finished Grapefruit League play with a 0.60 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, .176 BAA and 12:2 K:BB in 15 innings across five appearances.
The veteran right-hander tuned up for his scheduled regular-season debut Monday against the Red Sox with three scoreless innings versus the Tigers on Tuesday -- a game in which he actually served as the bulk reliever behind opener Cody Reed. Adam Berry of MLB.com reports that Wacha is still more likely than not to serve as a conventional starter versus Boston, but manager Kevin Cash said "it's all a possibility" when asked how he might deploy the offseason acquisition during his first regular-season turn in a Rays uniform.
Wacha allowed an earned run on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman across five innings in a Grapefruit League loss to Atlanta on Thursday. He struck out five.
The right-hander continued his spring dominance while facing an Atlanta lineup that had plenty of regulars. Wacha now has a minuscule 0.75 ERA across 12 innings, and he'll take the mound once more in Grapefruit League play against the Tigers on Tuesday before opening the regular season as the No. 3 starter.
Wacha fired four scoreless innings in a Grapefruit League loss to the Twins on Saturday, allowing just one hit and no walks while recording three strikeouts.
Wacha worked up to 53 pitches, with Adam Berry of MLB.com reporting the veteran right-hander's fastball got as high as 94.9 mph according to Statcast. Wacha featured a four-pitch mix overall that also included an effective cutter and a changeup that he got four swings and misses on, three of those third strikes.
Wacha was impressive while logging three innings and facing one batter to simulate the start of a fourth frame in an intrasquad game Saturday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. "He creates a lot of depth on the cutter and the changeup," manager Kevin Cash said. "Asking [pitching coach Kyle Snyder] at different times, 'Which one was that?' I guess it doesn't matter if it's going underneath the barrel."
Wacha's primary three-pitch arsenal of a fastball, cutter and changeup has worked extremely well for him thus far this spring ahead of what both the Rays and the veteran right-hander hope will be a resurgent season. Prior to Saturday's outing, Wacha had logged three scoreless frames across his first two Grapefruit League outings against the Red Sox and Twins.
Wacha fired two scoreless innings in a Grapefruit League loss to the Twins on Sunday, allowing one hit and no walks while recording a strikeout.
Adam Berry of MLB.com reports Wacha threw 15 of 21 pitches for strikes and averaged an impressive 94.4 mph on his fastball, an uptick from the 93.6 mph figure he logged with the Cardinals in 2020. Manager Kevin Cash noted after the game that pitching coach Kyle Snyder is particularly enthused with Wacha's cutter, which the veteran right-hander got two called strikes and three outs with on the seven occasions he used it against Minnesota.
Wacha, who fired a scoreless first inning during his Grapefruit League debut against the Red Sox on Tuesday, continued his effective 2020 practice of relying on his changeup during the outing, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. "It's been my best swing-and-miss pitch, so I figured I'd throw it more and see if I can get a little bit more weaker contact with it and try to pitch off my best pitch a little more," Wacha said. "I think that's a big part of it, to pitch toward your strengths and understanding what your strengths are."
Despite a forgettable 1-4 record, 6.62 ERA and 1.56 WHP across 34 innings over eight appearances (seven starts) for the Mets last season, Wacha did have success with his changeup, generating an impressive 40.8 percent whiff rate while throwing the pitch a career-high 29.2 percent of the time. He deployed it at key moments with success again Monday while overcoming a leadoff walk to Enrique Hernandez, striking out J.D. Martinez before getting Rafael Devers on an inning-ending groundout. Wacha threw 21 pitches overall during his one frame, and he projects to take the next step toward prepping for his projected mid-rotation role in the coming season with a potential start against the Twins on Sunday.
Wacha signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Rays on Friday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Rays' reputation is such that it's generally safe to assume that if they want a player, he's probably better than he seems. In Wacha's case, his 6.62 ERA in 34 innings for the Mets last season came with a solid set of peripherals, as he struck out 23.7 percent of opposing batters while walking a career-low 4.5 percent. He did also see his groundball rate plummet from 48.0 percent in 2019 to 35.5 percent in 2020, however. Still, there's enough there to suggest that he should have a decent chance to carve out a successful season as a back-end starter or in whatever creative role the innovative Rays elect to deploy him.
Wacha (1-4) allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four in six innings in a loss to the Rays on Wednesday.
Homers by Joey Wendle and Randy Arozarena accounted for three of the four runs against Wacha, who was not particularly sharp Wednesday and has now been charged with a loss in each of his last four decisions. The 29-year-old righty has likely made his last appearance of the season -- if so, he finishes with an unsightly 6.62 ERA and 1.56 WHIP across 34 innings and eight appearances.
Wacha will start Wednesday against the Rays, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
Wacha made his previous appearance out of the bullpen, but he's a starter by trade and will return to that role Wednesday, pushing Steven Matz into a bullpen role. He hasn't had a particularly good time in his first and potentially only season as a Met, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 28 innings of work.
Wacha allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts and zero walks over four innings out of the bullpen Wednesday against the Phillies.
The 29-year-old figured to be in the mix to start this weekend against the Braves, but he worked in long relief Wednesday with Jacob deGrom (hamstring) pitching only two innings. It was Wacha's best outing of the season since he gave up one run across five frames during his season debut.
Wacha is available out of the bullpen Sunday against the Blue Jays, Justin Toscano of The Bergen Record reports.
The 29-year-old lined up to start Tuesday at Philadelphia, but New York will instead push up the rest of the rotation thanks to Monday's scheduled off day. Wacha could return to the rotation when the Mets need a fifth starter next weekend against the Braves.
|Last 7 Games|
|05/02||vs HOU||W 5-4||2.2||5||4||0||3|
|04/27||vs OAK||W 4-3||5.0||5||1||0||2|
|04/21||@ KC||L 8-9||5.2||5||3||1||1|
|04/16||@ NYY||W 8-2||1||6.0||1||0||2||9|
|04/11||vs NYY||L 4-8||4.0||3||3||3||5|
|04/05||@ BOS||L 2-11||1||5.0||8||4||2||6|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||8.0||4||0||0||0||0||0||16||1||1||0.00||0.250|
|2018||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||4.1||2||2||0||0||0||0||5||2||2||6.58||0.976|