Cardinals promote Wacha, option Blazek
The St. Louis Cardinals promoted top prospect Michael Wacha from AAA Memphis and optioned righty Michael Blazek. Wacha, 21, dazzled in his major league debut, surrendering only one run on two hits in seven innings of work against the Kansas City Royals, and will be an important part of the Cardinals' rotation for many years to come.
Taken with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Wacha ascended rapidly through the ranks of the Cards' minor league system in his first season of pro ball, posting a 0.86 ERA in eleven games with the GCL Cardinals, High-A Palm Beach, and AA Springfield. He was promoted to Memphis to begin the season, and has pitched to a 4-0 record and 2.05 ERA in nine starts so far.
Blazek, 24, also made his major league debut this season after being selected in the 35th round of the 2007 draft. In six appearances out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, Blazek pitched very well, surrendering only one run on six hits while striking out six.
Padres promote Vincent, option Bass
The San Diego Padres made a small change on Thursday, electing to replace struggling reliever Anthony Bass with righty Nick Vincent, who has been pitching well at AAA Tucson
Bass, who has a 4.55 ERA in eighteen games this season, will pitch out of the rotation for Tucson in an effort to gain back some confidence after his struggles this season. Vincent, who would have likely started the year with the big league club if he wasn't injured in spring training, is 4-3 with a 4.15 ERA so far this season, but has pitched to a 1.80 ERA in his last ten appearances. He appeared in 27 games for the Padres in 2012, going 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA out of the bullpen.
Cubs select Putnam, option Burnett
The Chicago Cubs made a slew of bullpen moves Thursday, optioning recently claimed righty Alex Burnett to AAA Iowa and selecting the contract of Zach Putnam. To make room on the 40-man roster, Kyuji Fujikawa, who will require Tommy John surgery, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. The team also outrighted reliever Michael Bowden to AAA Iowa after designating him for assignment.
Putnam, who signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent in December, is 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen for Iowa so far this season. Burnett, who is with his fourth organization of the season, tossed a scoreless inning in his Cubs debut on Wednesday.