Those in the fantasy baseball community who are familiar with our work know how strongly we recommend on a yearly basis avoiding making an investment in St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha. While we were once big fans of Wacha when he first reached the majors with the Cards back in 2013, a bout of shoulder trouble that cropped up in 2015 had us running for the hills. One of the biggest fantasy baseball pitching sacraments we fully subscribe to is that once a pitcher comes down with shoulder trouble, they are never the same and prone to further injury. Any pitcher will admit that a shoulder injury is so much worse to the health of their stuff than anything to do with the elbow and clear cases of promising arms that saw their careers get flushed early due to similar injuries such as Josh Johnson or Tommy Hanson were clear proof of this. So it was with Wacha who after gutting out a 3.38 ERA in that 2015 season, sank all the way to a 5.09 mark the following year to add validation to our concerns. Thus there was no good reason to recommend a play on Wacha given all that we had seen. Well in terms of 2017, it was pretty much more of the same as Wacha's solid start (2.55 ERA in April) dissolved into three of the final four months posting a number in that category above 5.00. While Wacha still has the talent to start strong, the increase in innings always lead to trouble eventually as we saw when 2017 continued. A final 4.13 ERA was not terrible but Wacha's 1.36 WHIP certainly was. Also Wacha has failed to throw more than 170 innings in each of the last two years; further enhancing his injury-prone label. Another guy you can place in the "headache" bin.
2018 PROJECTION: 12-9 4.33 ERA 1.33 WHIP 155 K