The St. Louis Cardinals placed rookie pitcher John Gast on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a left shoulder strain, and promoted relief pitcher Michael Blazek from Double-A Springfield in a corresponding move.
St. Louis promoted Gast to replace veteran starter Jake Westbrook, who is currently on the DL with shoulder inflammation. Gast made three starts for the Cardinals, posting a 5.11 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. The southpaw left in the second inning of his start Saturday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a tight left shoulder.
Gast's next scheduled start was planned for Thursday, and it is possible the team calls up prospect Michael Wacha to replace Gast in the rotation. Wacha was scheduled to pitch on Sunday for Triple-A Memphis, but the team scratched Wacha from his start.
John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com ranked Wacha as the fifth best prospect in the Cardinals farm system heading into the 2013 season. Wacha, the No. 18 overall pick in last season's Amateur Draft, has posted a 1.71 ERA and a 74/19 K/BB ratio in 73 2/3 minor league innings since signing with the Cardinals.
For now, the Cardinals are calling up Blazek to give the team a fresh arm in the bullpen. The 24-year-old has battled some control issues, but has still pitched effectively out of the bullpen, posting a 0.92 ERA while fanning 25 batters in 19 2/3 innings pitched.