St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)
Billy Hurst
August 09, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals have placed Michael Wacha on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation, a day after his latest start, and purchased the contract of top prospect Alex Reyes from Triple-A Memphis.

Reyes will pitch out of the bullpen. General Manager John Mozeliak said Tuesday another highly touted prospect, Luke Weaver, will likely make Wacha's scheduled start Saturday and a corresponding roster move would be made then.

''It's an honor to put this uniform on,'' Reyes said. ''I don't know what it will feel like once I step out there, but I'm sure it will be fun.''

To make room for Reyes, catcher Brayan Pena (left knee) was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.

The 21-year-old Reyes started for the World Team at the Futures Game during All-Star week and is 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA in 14 starts and 93 strikeouts in 65 1-3 innings. The start of his season was delayed by a 50-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana use.

''One of the most impressive things for me is the statements he made and the conversation he had with all the young players in extended spring and talked about some of the decisions he made and the repercussions of those and then getting to work to try to put that behind him and moving forward,'' manager Mike Matheny said. ''That's a lot of growing up for a 21-year-old to do in one year.''

Reyes is 20-21 with a 3.50 ERA in 69 career minor league starts. He has hit triple digits on the radar gun, but the key for Reyes will be control.

''When you're putting guys on base, the game teaches you pretty quick that that's not going to work,'' Matheny said. ''He gets it. ''He's only 21, but he's still been around long enough to know what we're looking for around here. We need him to be in the strike zone.''

Wacha is 7-7 with a 4.45 ERA. He allowed four runs in five innings and got no decision in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory on Monday.

''He's definitely been struggling with command for some time and if there was a correlation between the two, it's been going on for quite a while,'' Mozeliak said. ''But in terms of us feeling like it was time to get him looked at, I certainly felt after last night's outing that that made sense.''

The injury is similar to the one the prematurely ended Wacha's 2014 season.

Weaver, 22, spent most of this season at Double-A Springfield, but pitched six scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut on Monday.

''I feel like the ability to throw strikes in games, I do think that's important,'' Mozeliak said. ''He only had one start in Triple-A, but I do feel like he will give us a chance to win that ball game.''

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