8/18/2014 9:24 P.M. ET
Wacha looks sharp in latest bullpen session
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Shortly after receiving positive news from the another MRI exam of his right shoulder, Michael Wacha took the Busch Stadium bullpen mound on Monday to throw for the second time since a June shutdown due to a stress reaction in his shoulder.
Manager Mike Matheny, who observed the 35-pitch session of fastballs and changeups, estimated that Wacha threw at about 75-80 percent effort. Wacha will ratchet up the intensity on Wednesday, when he takes the mound next.
"It just looked real effortless as the ball was coming out of his hand," Matheny said. "He wasn't having to pump up or do anything extraordinary. It looked good."
The Cardinals haven't publicly provided a rough timeline of Wacha's rehab program, though Matheny said the organization would like to have Wacha face competition before coming off the disabled list. There are only two weeks remaining in the Minor League season, so the time to get that work in is limited. Some of the Cardinals' affiliates, though, do have a chance at extending their seasons with a playoff berth.
Having Wacha face batters in a simulated game session would also be another option to prepare him for a return. The right-hander has been on the DL since June 18.
Cardinals' thoughts continue to be with Ferguson
ST. LOUIS -- During the Cardinals' seven-game homestand, unrest has continued just 12 miles away from Busch Stadium in the city of Ferguson, Mo., the epicenter of protests since a police offer shot an unarmed 18-year-old black male on Aug. 9.
The shooting and subsequent demonstrations have dominated headlines and airwaves for the past nine days. The Cardinals addressed the regional divide with a message on the public address system Thursday in which they urged for the community to come together during what has been a tense time.
"Ladies and gentlemen, for over a century Cardinals baseball has been an integral part of the fabric of St. Louis -- bringing us together as a community and enriching our lives in so many important ways," the statement read. "St. Louis is good community with good people who care about one another, our neighborhoods and our city. In recent days we have all been heartbroken by a series of violent events that do not reflect who we are as a people. We ask that you join us tonight in taking a stand against violence as we unite as one community."
Manager Mike Matheny has since done the same.
"It's a sad situation. It's a tough situation for our city," Matheny said. "Hopefully, all the voices that are trying to get this resolved get it resolved quick. … This is a great city with a lot of great people and we'd just like to all see this get resolved."
Actor Jon Hamm, a guest of the Cardinals at Monday's game, noted that the events in Ferguson have hit especially close to home given that he spent much of his childhood in Normandy, which is only a few miles away from Ferguson. He recalled riding his bike to Ferguson and pointed out how many family members he still has living in North St. Louis County.
"It's a bad situation all around," Hamm said. "There's no positive spin to it. When all the facts come out and hopefully all the light is shown on all sides of it, hopefully the justice will be carried out. But it's hard. It's really hard. That's my neighborhood. I know there are a lot more good people in those neighborhoods than bad people, and it's rough to watch.
"St. Louis has had a rough couple of decades now. It would be nice to turn it around. People in St. Louis, in my experience, are great people. If anybody can do it, we can. And I hope that everybody pulls together for the sake of the community."
Cards call it a season for top-pick Weaver
ST. LOUIS -- Luke Weaver, the Cardinals' top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, won't throw another pitch this season, as the Cardinals have shut down the right-hander due to workload concerns.
The decision to end Weaver's season after his Aug. 8, start for Palm Beach was not all that unexpected or unusual for an organization that closely monitors the innings count of all their first-year players. Weaver had already thrown 106 1/3 innings at Florida State University before the Cardinals made him the 27th-overall pick in June.
Weaver began his pro career with the Gulf Coast League club in July before being promoted to Class A Advanced Palm Beach after two starts. Combined, Weaver made six starts covering 9 1/3 innings. He allowed eight runs on 15 hits and four walks while striking out 12.
Weaver will not participate in the organization's upcoming Instructional League, said Gary LaRocque, the Cardinals' director of player development.
• Manager Mike Matheny revealed after the Cardinals' 6-5 win on Monday that Mark Ellis had been unavailable due to soreness. Matheny, when asked, could not provide further details on the ailment.
• Reliever Jason Motte (lower back strain) said Monday he "felt good today," but that he has not yet been cleared to resume throwing. Motte said he expects to increase his rehab by adding some plyometrics into his work on Tuesday. Motte has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 2.
• Left fielder Matt Holliday returned to the lineup on Monday but continues to deal with swelling of his left knee. Manager Mike Matheny noted that the issue may lead him to remove Holliday late in games more often in order to keep the issue manageable.
• The Pacific Coast League named Memphis first baseman Xavier Scruggs its Player of the Week after Scruggs went 11-for-24 with three homers and 11 RBIs from Aug. 11-17. He hit safely in all six games during the week and is riding a 12-game hitting streak. This is the third straight week the league award has been won by a Triple-A Memphis hitter.
• With two weeks remaining in their season, Memphis is sitting alone in first place in the American Southern division of the PCL. Memphis has won eight straight, the second-longest winning streak in franchise history, and can match the franchise record with a win on Monday. The Redbirds are a PCL-best 32-12 since July 2, when they were 6 1/2 games out of first.
• The Cardinals announced on Monday that they will sell $8 pavilion and terrace level seats to their upcoming series against the Pirates (Sept. 1-3) and Brewers (Sept. 16-18) as part of a promotion with McDonald's. Fans who download the free McD App will receive a promotional code to redeem at cardinals.com/McDonalds for the discounted tickets.
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.