ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Michael Wacha is scheduled for a follow-up MRI on his pitching shoulder Monday, after which the Cardinals will be able to determine whether he can begin a throwing program.
This will be the third MRI for Wacha in a month's span. The first, taken when Wacha was dealing with some shoulder fatigue, identified a stress reaction in his right shoulder. He was prescribed two weeks of rest, after which Wacha had another MRI to see if the area had begun to heal.
It had, but not enough to be cleared to resume throwing. The Cardinals opted to have Wacha rest for another two weeks before reevaluating Monday.
The timing of this follow-up visit is crucial, too, as it could play into the club's strategy at the Trade Deadline. To this point, the Cardinals have maintained that they do not feel they have to add starting pitching before the end of the month. But if Wacha is still not ready to throw, the organization could change that stance.
Wacha said Saturday that while he cannot throw, he has stayed busy with therapy and other weight-room exercises.
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.