JUPITER, Fla. -- After closing out the Cardinals' 5-4 win with two shutout innings, right-hander Michael Wacha was summoned into manager Mike Matheny's office, where he was told he was being reassigned to Minor League camp.
The Cardinals plan to officially announce the roster move on Friday, along with others. Victor Marte and Eduardo Sanchez were also emptying their lockers in the clubhouse after Thursday's game. Both will be optioned to Triple-A. "It was unbelievable," Wacha said of the Spring Training experience. "I wasn't really expecting to get an invite [to Major League camp]. I just looked at it as an opportunity to come and show what I had and hopefully open up some eyes. Hopefully I did that."
For Wacha, he leaves having left a huge impression in his first big league camp. After being selected No. 19 overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and pitching 21 innings in the Minors, Wacha pitched so well this spring that many wondered if he could pitch his way into the conversation for a Major League roster spot.
One of the biggest compliments he received during his stay came from All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, who, on Feb. 27, said, "I think that guy, right now, can pitch in the big league. That's the way I look at it. He has great stuff. He has a great presence on the mound."
Instead, Wacha will start the year in either the Double-A or Triple-A rotation.
"I'm just going to go down there and keep on pitching the way I have, and hopefully I'm not down there for too long," Wacha said. "I have to go down there and establish myself and show that I can turn over innings and turn over lineups. Hopefully I can do that quickly."
Wacha finishes the spring having allowed one unearned run on seven hits in 11 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out 15.
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.