Wacha throws first live BP to batters in Springfield

Wacha throws first live BP to batters in Springfield

PITTSBURGH -- With general manager John Mozeliak among those in attendance to assess, rehabbing right-hander Michael Wacha threw three "innings" of live batting practice to a pair of Double-A hitters at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday.

The structured session was designed to allow Wacha to get a feel for how hitters were seeing his pitches. Though Wacha begun throwing off the mound 11 days prior, this was the first time since his June 17 start against the Mets that he had thrown with a hitter standing in the batter's box.

Wacha faced Patrick Wisdom and Charlie Tilson while throwing three sessions of about 15 pitches. He took a break in between each to simulate innings. A Cardinals front office member reported afterward that Wacha "looked good."

Wacha told reporters in Springfield that he expects to make a rehab start for Springfield in Tulsa on Sunday, which would put him closer to a return to the Cardinals' rotation. St. Louis has not confirmed that assignment, and the club will likely wait to do so until it sees how Wacha's arm responds from this test. Wacha has been sidelined since mid June with a stress reaction in his shoulder, an unusual injury for a pitcher and therefore one that the Cardinals have monitored with added caution.

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.