After leaving his first start of the season due to lower back tightness with AAA Memphis, Luke Weaver has been on quite the roll.
In 20 innings pitched, Weaver has tallied 18 K, 1 BB, 13 hits, and 1 ER over 3 starts. Let that sink in a bit, an 18/1 K/BB ratio. So clearly the Cardinals should recall Weaver and send Adam Wainwright to the bullpen right? In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”
Weaver’s start to 2017 is exciting and he looks to have a long future in the big leagues. That being said logging innings in Memphis isn’t such a bad thing. Prior to his call-up in 2016, Weaver had only pitched six innings at the AAA level. During his time in St. Louis last season, Weaver walked 12 batters in 36 1/3 IP and struck out 45 with a 1.60 WHIP. Opponents hit .310 against him, and he posted a 5.70 ERA. Between AA and AAA in 2016, Weaver walked 12 batters in 83 IP and struck out 92 with a 0.93 WHIP. Opponents hit .206 against him, and he posted a 1.30 ERA. 2016 was a good year in regards for Weaver’s development but his time in St. Louis showed that he still has plenty to work on before getting recalled.
Since being drafted in 2014, the most innings in a season that Weaver has logged is 119 1/3 IP. Realistically, even if he was recalled how many innings could the Cardinals expect him to pitch this year? 140-150 IP? At this point in Luke Weaver’s young career, Memphis is where he needs to be at this moment. Dominating AAA hitters, building up his stamina, and learning from his experience with St. Louis last season will make him a much better pitcher the next time he is called back to the big leagues.
So what do you think the Cardinals should do with Weaver? Call him up? Leave him in Memphis? Trade him? Let me know in the comments section!