After much debate and discussion, the Cardinals finally decided today to keep Tyler Lyons in the starting rotation and option Michael Wacha to AAA Memphis. Derrick Goold tweeted this just minutes ago and Rick Hummel confirmed it.
I can't say that I'm surprised by the decision. Wacha is still just one year removed from pitching in college and could probably use some additional development time--primarily to work on his breaking ball. In addition, this will help the Cards to keep his innings down and potentially avoid Super Two status as well.
However, I am disappointed. Like many of you, I have developed a huge man crush on Wacha. It started with his impressive spring and only got stronger with his incredible first major league start and his ability to adjust in his last start. (It doesn't hurt either that I have him on more than one fantasy team as well).
Make no mistake about it, Wacha time is coming (again) in the not-to-distant future. I could definitely see him coming back up in September to fill a bullpen role down the stretch, much like Shelby Miller before him. He will also be the leading candidate to step into the rotation next year to replace likely free agent Jake Westbrook (although Carlos Martinez might have something to say about that).
In the meantime, Cardinals fans will just have to wait and watch his development at AAA.