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2. Michael Wacha
The 2014 season was a roller coaster for Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha. After taking the National League by storm as a rookie, Wacha suffered through some bitter disappointment as a sophomore. Wacha won four games for St. Louis after his late 2013 promotion. He went on to notch another four victories in the postseason.
St. Louis had high hopes for Wacha in 2015. The 23-year-old posted a 2.79 ERA through 15 starts before being sidelined with an injury in June. Wacha struggled when he finally returned to the rotation in September, yielding 10 runs in just 16 ⅔ innings. The Cardinals left Wacha out the playoff rotation and stashed him at the end of the bench. St. Louis manager finally called on Wacha at the worst time possible, with the Cardinals’ season on the line. Wacha, who hadn’t pitched in three weeks, promptly allowed two baserunners before surrendering the three-run home run to Travis Ishikawa that sent the San Francisco Giants to the World Series. Wacha has had an impressive spring for St. Louis as he looks to move beyond the heartbreak of 2014.
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