Adam Wainwright to have Tommy John Surgery

I don’t know what really to say today, other than the fact that Adam Wainwright has proved how strong mentally he is over the years, and I expect him to be back closer to 12 than 15 or 16 months from TJS.  It’s hard to imagine Wainwright not working his tail off to be back as fast as possible.  A lot is up in the air now with Wainwright and his future with the Cardinals.  I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, that if Wainwright is on the DL at the end of the 2011 season, the Cardinals don’t have to pick up his options for 2012 and 2013.

There are a couple of things I want to talk about today.  One, I hope the Cardinals do the smart thing and pick up Wainwright’s options anyway.  If there’s one Cardinal who shouldn’t come close to free agency, it’s Wainwright.  Pitching wins championships.  He’s easily one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball, and will continue to be after he comes back.  Pitchers come back from TJS and usually throw harder than before.  The bright spot in this is that it’s not a shoulder problem, if you can look at it that way.

The next thing I want to bring up is that while we are all suffering from this news, baseball is a funny game.  It’s a very long season, and many things can happen.  On paper now, I feel the Brewers are definitely ahead of the Cardinals, and they would have to be my pick to win the division.  I thought it was going to be close before the Wainwright injury.  However, it only takes an injury to Shaun Marcum, Yovani Gallardo or Zack Greinke to change that.  I think Marcum will be the best of the 3, but that’s just me. 

The Cincinnati Reds, I believe, won 22 games last year in their last at bat.  That’s not likely to happen again.  I expect the Reds and the Cubs to be in the mix, but an injury to Joey Votto for the Reds and Aramis Ramirez of the Cubs takes a lot of punch out of their lineups.

I’ll admit that I’m a glass half empty guy a lot of the times, and there’s no way to get around the Cardinals losing the best overall pitcher in baseball the last 2 years.  However, I’m looking forward to seeing what Lance Lynn, Ian Snell or Kyle McClellan can do in the rotation.  The Cardinals are going to have to score more consistently this year, and as long as the baseball gods take their anger out on other teams in the NL Central, there’s still a chance.  As I said yesterday, 2011 will be no time for Jaime Garcia to regress, Chris Carpenter to reinjure his shoulder, and Kyle Lohse has to pitch like its 2008.  The Cardinals did sign Jake Westbrook though, and while he’s not an ace, hopefully he can hold some games together close and late.  Everyone of these guys would benefit from Wainwright leading the rotation, but it is what it is now.

If the Cardinals do manage to advance to the playoffs without Wainwright, it won’t look promising without him.  2011 will now have to be the best year from Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa.  I don’t think either one of them are going to throw in the towel just yet.

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2 Responses to Adam Wainwright to have Tommy John Surgery

  1. Molinasgirl says:

    JD,

    Sorry, there is no bright spot to AW getting injured. The 2011 season is as good as gone. We can look forward to 4th place, cause that’s where the Birds will finish.

  2. jstone says:

    JD,

    On this one, I am in almost 100% agreement with you!!!

    Jordan

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