ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Cardinals have pushed back struggling Michael Wacha and plan to start rookie lefty Marco Gonzales instead on Sunday.
Manager Mike Matheny announced the rotation change Friday, saying Wacha hasn't looked right since returning from the disabled list. The Cardinals had been trying to build up Wacha's pitch count since he was activated in early September from a right shoulder stress reaction, and Matheny said he wasn't sure when the right-hander will pitch next.
The 23-year-old Wacha allowed five earned runs and walked three in four innings his last start. As a rookie he was the NL championship series MVP, and he's 5-6 this year with a 3.14 ERA in 17 starts.
Gonzales was a first-round draft pick in 2013, a year after Wacha was taken 19th overall. The lefty is 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA but in his last two starts has permitted two runs in 10 2-3 innings.