Wacha: Sim game results with debut ahead

The St. Louis Cardinals first-round draft pick threw on Thursday in Jupiter and we were there!

In a simulated game on the back fields of Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium Thursday morning, St. Louis Cardinals first-round draft pick Michael Wacha threw two "innings" to live hitters.

Each frame consisted of 17 pitches thrown to three Gulf Coast Cardinals teammates -- Jose Gomez, Jem Argenal and Rowan Wick. The three took turns standing in the batter's box for five pitches at a time, with all pitches considered to be a 0-0 count and no one calling balls and strikes.

About two dozen of Wacha's 34 pitches to catcher Adam Ehrlich were fastballs, which averaged 93 mph and touched 96. The right-hander also threw a handful of curveballs and changeups.

Previously, Wacha had thrown four bullpen sessions since reporting to the Cardinals Florida camp on about June 22, but this was the first time he faced hitters, GCL Cardinals pitching coach Tim Leveque said.

"We just wanted to ease him back into facing hitters again and learn the organization's fundamentals," Leveque said. "He showed good stuff; you could definitely see why he was a first-round pick."

In his first official action as a professional, Wacha will start the GCL Cardinals game this coming Wednesday at home against the Astros. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder is expected to pitch two innings, Leveque said.

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