Two of the Cardinals most important young pitching talents reside in the minor leagues and are important in vastly different ways. Sam Freeman, as reported earlier on CardsBlog is the logical 3rd left-handed option for the Cardinals bullpen; and with the big league versions struggling, a late-season call-up could certainly be in store. Michael Wacha is an option for the Cardinals staff in future seasons, signed as the Redbird’s 19th overall selection in the June draft.

Wacha continued his rapid ascent in the St. Louis minor leagues, and was promoted on Saturday to Class AA Springfield. Wacha was initially scheduled to spend the remainder of the 2012 season in high Class A Palm Beach, but his 8 scoreless innings accelerated the Cardinal’s plans for him. He joins Springfield in the middle of their playoff push, and will pitch out of the bullpen. For Card’s fans, this is certainly good news. Keep an eye on CardsBlog for more updates on an important piece of the St. Louis future.

The news for Freeman is less than stellar. The Cardinal’s Class AAA lefty reliever was placed on the 7 day DL with an oblique strain. If all goes according to plan, Freeman should be back in plenty of time to entice the big league club with his left arm, but as we all know, oblique strains often are tricky injuries. Let’s hope that the Cards have an eye on the future and are just being cautious with the oft-injured left-hander.