Wacha not likely to break big league rotation

JUPITER, Fla. -- Michael Wacha, as impressive as he has been in his first Spring Training, still appears headed to the Minors for the start of the season.

Asked if Wacha was pitching himself into consideration for a Major League rotation spot, general manager John Mozeliak described it as "unlikely" that the right-hander will start the year in St. Louis. Wacha has pitched well enough, though, to garner more looks in big league camp than initially anticipated.

Wacha, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player's Draft and the Cards' No. 6 prospect, has allowed four hits and one unearned run in 7 2/3 innings this spring. He has walked one and struck out 11. In 21 pro innings last year, Wacha struck out 40 and walked four.

"He has really opened a lot of eyes here," Mozeliak said. "I think as we look to let him gain experience, I think it's great to keep him around camp. In the end, we certainly have to think about what is best for him. And the fact is, it's demanding at the Major League level. We don't want to put him in a position if he's not ready for it physically."

The Cardinals entered spring open to considering Wacha for either the Double-A or Triple-A rotation. It's now expected that he'll be a part of the latter in Memphis.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.