Michael Wacha’s back and forth season for the St. Louis Cardinals has now taken a new turn, as it comes full circle to where his pro career began – the bullpen. Yet, the future of the starting rotation could be one of the brightest parts of the end of the game as well, and do so in a familiar fashion.
Go back to 2006 and find another young starter-turned-reliever out of necessity, Adam Wainwright. At the time, he was making his way along as a middle relief arm, but when inning struck Jason Isringhausen and the ninth inning, he was thrust into late inning action and responded resoundingly. Over the final two months of the season, the rookie turned masterful closer, notching seven saves while surrendering only three earned runs across 21.2 innings total between the regular and postseason. He then returned the next season and turned his sights towards a now fairly notable career as a starter and never looked back.
Fast forward seven years.