7/5/2014 12:37 A.M. ET
Wacha hopeful rest has done the trick for shoulder
By Alex Halsted / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha has not yet begun throwing since he was placed on the disabled list June 23 with a stress reaction in his right shoulder, but he could take a big step forward Monday.
Wacha, whose injury came somewhat as a surprise when he felt some tightness in his shoulder, will undergo an MRI exam Monday to see how his two weeks of rest have helped the stress reaction heal.
"It definitely feels a lot stronger, it's not as tight as it was," Wacha said Friday. "I think it'll definitely have some positive results."
Wacha is 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA this season, allowing more than three runs in only one of his 15 starts. He was scratched from his most recent start to get extra rest, but the team ultimately learned he would need more time.
A stress reaction is a precursor to a possible stress fracture, and Wacha and the team weren't willing to take that risk. The 23-year-old was prescribed two weeks of rest from throwing, and he has also done shoulder exercises to go with a bone healing ultrasound that works deep into his shoulder.
Stress reactions are not a common injury, but D-backs pitcher Brandon McCarthy has had recurring ones in his pitching shoulder throughout his career. Wacha has been in touch with the veteran pitcher to get a better idea where he stands with his injury.
"I got his number and gave him a call," Wacha said. "He just said all that he needed was rest, and I think he said something like 14 days of not throwing and it was basically out of there and he started up his throwing program again. I feel like it's going through the same stages that he was going through."
Wacha said the shoulder injury has never been painful and he hopes positive results Monday -- which the team will compare to his initial tests to judge progress -- will get him back on the mound sooner than later.
"It was never pain, it was just tightness back there. It was kind of pulling, it wasn't really painful," Wacha said. "I can definitely feel the tightness is gone, and hopefully on this test, it shows the inflammation is gone and not much of a reaction."
Matheny finalizes NL roster for All-Star Game
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has frequently said he has enjoyed the process of putting together the National League's All-Star roster.
That tall task, it appears, has come to an end. With the players' vote in hand and fan voting having come to a close Thursday night, Matheny said Friday that his roster is all set. Now it remains a secret until results are announced Sunday evening.
Matheny's next task will be filling out his lineup, which includes selecting a designated hitter, which fans didn't vote for. He was unable to provide any insight into what that might entail.
"They're all under consideration," Matheny said with a smile.
With the Marlins in St. Louis for a three-game series, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton could make an impression on Matheny. Stanton, who was fourth among outfielders in the final ballot update released Tuesday, has an NL-best 21 home runs this season.
"You look at some of the guys that aren't part of that starting eight, there's quite a few options you have," Matheny said. "I think you take into consideration the fan vote -- this is a fan-driven game -- I think you take into consideration the player vote. These guys watch with skeptical eyes. All that has gone into the decision."
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the Taco Bell All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, beginning at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
New blister not a problem in Lynn's scoreless start
ST. LOUIS -- The blister on Lance Lynn's middle finger is no longer a secret, but the rest will be a mystery if he has anything to say about it.
After Lynn struggled through two innings last Saturday against the Dodgers, allowing six runs, it was revealed that a callus broken away from his finger caused issues with his offspeed pitches. The results -- 6 2/3 scoreless innings -- were more favorable in Friday's 3-2 win over the Marlins, but Lynn still had something to deal with on that middle finger.
The right-hander said a new blister formed as Friday's game went along.
"I've never had success of not getting a blister," Lynn said. "I get a blister every time I pitch."
The problem, Lynn said, doesn't rest with the blister forming, but when it turns to a callus and then peels off during a game as it did in Los Angeles. Lynn said his blister dried out in Colorado's climate and peeled away due to L.A.'s abnormally warm and muggy one.
The plan with this blister is to likely pop it Saturday, Lynn said, and begin the process of getting a new one next time out yet again.
"It usually starts forming as I go," Lynn said. "That's how I've always done it. The blister thing is not the problem. If there's a blister there, I'm happy. I'm used to that."
The look of Lynn's blister remained a mystery as the starter said he didn't have interest in showing it off. As for how it affects him, he had no intentions of the opposition learning about that either.
"Every pitch has its own different feeling," Lynn said. "I'm not going to tell you which one hurts more, because they might think I might not throw that."
• Allen Craig wasn't in the Cardinals' lineup for a second consecutive day Friday, but he is likely to return Saturday when the team faces Miami left-hander Andrew Heaney. Space in St. Louis' lineup has become limited with Oscar Taveras in the outfield and first baseman Matt Adams and Craig likely sharing at-bats in the meantime.
• Matheny didn't commit to second baseman Kolten Wong returning from the disabled list Sunday, the first day he's eligible to return. Wong, though, was in the lineup for Triple-A Memphis on Friday night and was expected to play again Saturday before likely returning to St. Louis. He has been recovering from a left shoulder strain.
• The Cardinals, Matheny said, have no plans to alter the rotation before the All-Star break. That means rookie Marco Gonzales will likely make two more starts. Starter Joe Kelly, who has been on the disabled list since mid-April and was sent on a Triple-A rehab assignment June 27, could return after the break.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.