ST. LOUIS (AP) Michael Wacha, who starred in the postseason as a rookie last fall, will be in the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen for the start of the NL Division Series.
It did not come as a surprise.
''I was kind of expecting it,'' Wacha said Wednesday after a 40-minute workout at Busch Stadium.
''Just never made it back to where I wanted to be as a starter,'' he added. ''I'm just happy they're going to take a little chance on me in the bullpen.''
Manager Mike Matheny said he'll go with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Shelby Miller the first four games against the Dodgers. The best-of-five series starts Friday in Los Angeles.
''If we're fortunate enough to move forward, things could be different,'' Matheny said. ''But right now that's how he's going to be able to help us the best.''
The 23-year-old Wacha was the NL Championship series MVP last year, outpitching Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw twice. He's had trouble regaining form after a long layoff caused by a shoulder injury and totaled 16 2-3 innings in four September starts.
''I'm hoping our starters, they get out there and dominate, which I know they will,'' said Wacha, who was 5-6 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts.
Acquired from Boston at the trade deadline, Lackey beat the Cardinals twice in the World Series for Boston and finished strong this year. Miller barely pitched last fall due to workload concerns combined with season-long difficulties against division series opponent Pittsburgh.
''I'm just excited to pitch. I'm excited to help the team however I can,'' Miller said. ''I felt I was strong and finished well.''
Wainwright was 20-9 and his 2.38 ERA was third best in the NL. Lynn was 15-10 with a 2.74 ERA, Miller was 10-9 with a 3.74 ERA and Lackey was 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA.