A.P. Season Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

CBS St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cardinals hope Michael Wacha is ready to stand alongside ace Adam Wainwright at the top of their rotation.

Wacha was the NL Championship Series MVP as a rookie but just 5-6 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts last year. He was sidelined for most of the season’s second half by a stress reaction in his shoulder, and was rusty in October before giving up Travis Ishikawa’s series-winning homer in Game 5 of the NLCS.

Now he feels healthy.

“It’s very encouraging, the long term of what this kid could be and the short term of how he feels, somebody every fifth day that can bring the kind of stuff he does,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “He feels good about himself and we feel good about what we’re seeing.”

The 23-year-old Wacha has long insisted the injury is behind him.

“Ever since I came…

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