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Cardinals fear Adam Wainwright has “significant” elbow injury

Feb 23, 2011, 9:42 AM EST

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As if the early days of spring training haven’t been tough enough on the Cardinals, now Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that ace Adam Wainwright has returned to St. Louis to have his right elbow examined for a possible ligament injury.

Wainwright apparently felt pain while throwing batting practice Monday and general manager John Mozeliak told Goold that he believes “it’s a significant injury” and “things do not look encouraging” for the Cy Young runner-up.

Wainwright has been mostly injury free since experiencing elbow problems in 2004, but did miss the final start of last season due to elbow soreness. Before that he went 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 230 innings and Wainwright is 66-35 with a 2.97 ERA in five seasons with the Cardinals after being acquired from the Braves as a prospect for J.D. Drew in December of 2003.

He’ll be examined by doctors today and then get a second opinion later this week, but at this point Tommy John surgery and a 12-18 month recovery timetable looms.

  1. davebrownspiral - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Looks like the NL Central is coming down to the Reds and the Brewers.

  2. BC - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooops!!!!! FAIL!

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Wow, Pujols hasn’t even been lost via free agency yet and “The Curse of Pujols” is already kicking in.

  4. uyf1950 - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    If Wainwright needs Tommy John Surgery he’s probably lost to the Cardinals for about 18 months including rehab and probably close to 2 season before he’s close to 100% based on some of the other pitchers we have seen have this surgery.
    I read on another site that the Cardinals would be interested in Millwood if Wainwright has to go under the knife. Quite a step backwards from Wainwright to Millwood. Also I would have to believe that if Wainwright is lost for the season as at least some of next season that would make the Cardinals signing Pujols even more imperative at least from a marketing, promotion and attendance standpoint.

  5. Jeremiah Graves - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    …and in 3–2–1…cue the Yankees fans indicating that this will prompt the Cards to go into sell-mode and send Carpenter and/or Pujols to New York for a pittance…

    • uyf1950 - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      I’m a Yankee fan. You may find this hard to believe but not all Yankee fans think alike. Also the Cardinals can’t go into “sell-mode” as you put it on Pujols. As I’m sure you know as a 10/5 players he can veto any trade to any team. As for Carpenter he will be 37 after the 2011 season. He’s probably would have been gone anyway by the end of the season with the Cardinals declining his 2012 option.

      • spudchukar - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        1) The Cardinals never go into sell mode. 2) As UYF has indicated, and has been repeated ad nauseam, Pujols has 10/5 rights. 3) This does not come as a complete surprise to Cardinal fans, Wainwright inexplicably stumbled in August and was shelved at the end of September. 4) Millwood is probably the best answer at this point. I researched his 2010 year, and it was much better than his record indicated. I have argued here that he is a much better option than, Colon or Garcia. 5) Ian Snell, a sinkerballer, is also in the Cards camp and may get a more serious look. 6) We shall overcome.

      • spindervish - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        In what sense was his 2010 “much better than his record indicated”? What is this “research” of which you speak? He had a 5.10 ERA, a 4.86 FIP and a 4.66 xFIP, which suggests he didn’t pitch all that much better than his ERA. 6.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, the second-worst HR/9 rate of his career and a career-low GB%.

        He pitched like crap, posted a crappy ERA and a crappy W-L record. I don’t see where your optimism is coming from.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        ’twas a joke, friends…

        a teehee…

        a haha…

        a knee-slapper…

        Obviously not all Yankee fans are of the mouth-breathing, collect-the-whole-set variety.

        …plus doesn’t Pujols have to wait until May for his 10/5 rights to kick in?

        Yes, Carp is 37, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a majority of Yankee fans–be they of the rational or insane variety–who wouldn’t feel just a tad more comfortable with him slotted in the 3-hole in that rotation this year.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        Jeremiah – Two comments on your most recent post/reply.
        First – No Pujols doesn’t have to wait till May 2011 to be a 10/5 player. He completed 10 full seasons in the ML at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
        Second – Your comment about Carpenter and the Yankee fans being more comfortable with him in the #3 slot of the Yankee rotation. Of course they would. But that was not the comment you originally made. You clearly said/indicated that Yankee fans expected the Cardinals to be in “sell-mode” now and expect the Yankees fans to want him for a “pittance” as you called it. The two comments are not the same.

    • spudchukar - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      You have to actually examine every start. He pitched well in April and May. He pitched in a bandbox. He played for the O’s, which would demoralize anyone. In 7 of his starts he went 7 innings or more while allowing 2 runs or less, plus a half dozen or so quality starts. He is a flyball pitcher, a death sentence in the telephone booth they call Camden Yards. He still has some heat and under the tutelage of Duncan, I am confident that he can succeed.

  6. umrguy42 - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Ugh. It’s going to be a long season :(

  7. lgehrig4 - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    The Cubs will own the Central

    • PanchoHerreraFanClub - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      A pigs will be flying over Wrigley Field!

      • cur68 - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        “pigs will be flying over Wrigley Field!”
        Hank comin’ to the Cubs game then?

  8. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    The only good news for the Cardinals is that has happened at this time. There are plenty of options regarding another starter. Not a lot of good options, but it is much better than losing two starting in the middle of May like last year.

  9. Jonny 5 - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    The Cards are just going to throw Mitchell Boggs in there, and he’ll do just fine.

  10. mercyflush - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    I’ll trade them Joe Blanton right now for Colby Rasmus.

  11. Ari Collins - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    People forget how much depth matters. That’s why I was picking the Reds, they have a lot more pitching depth than the Cards or Brewers. Less high-end talent, but much more depth. The Cards are the epitome of a stars-and-scrubs roster, where if you lose a star, you’re just screwed.

  12. xmatt0926x - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    The perfect example of why it doesnt matter how stacked your team is in pitching or hitting before the season starts. Yeah having good depth helps but when you lose a main piece for maybe the whole season it’s a huge blow. Guys thar are considered “depth” players aren’t going to scare anyone in September when your battling for a playoff spot. This is why there aren’t many repeat champs. Theoretically a team that was so good that they were good enough to win it all should be able to make a 2 or 3 year run but they rarely do. The whole thing is so fragile no matter how good the overall team is. One poorly timed tweek in the leg, bad slide into second, poor form on a pitch, whatever. Wainwright is a death blow to that team, depth or not.

  13. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Ryan Howard, Joe Blanton, and Dominic Brown for Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus. Do it tomorrow. Albert will waive his 10/5 to play behind the greatest rotation in baseball history. The Cardinals get their hometown slugger, Blanton for the rotation, and one of the top prospects in baseball in Brown. Plus they save the 8 years and $240 million that Pujols wants. 5 and $125 is not as heavy a burden as Pujols’ 8 and $240.

    Cue the “Ryan Howard sucks” idiots.

    • tomemos - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      5/$125 is a pretty heavy burden for someone who’s already started the decline phase of his career, particularly when the 5 doesn’t even start until next year.

      Look, you don’t even have to think Howard sucks to know that trade makes no sense. Pujols is way, way better than Howard, Brown is unproven while Rasmus isn’t, and Blanton doesn’t make up the difference.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        Problem is this…if they aren’t going to be able to keep Pujols, what other offer will they get to a team that Pujols will accept a trade? If your option was this trade or one more year of Pujols and a 3rd or 4th place finish, why not do it? It’s all moot anyway, because I doubt this is something the Phillies would do.

      • seanmk - Feb 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        i’d hardly consider rasmus “proven”, but he’s certainly move proven the dom brown, that’s for sure.

      • Lukehart80 - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        Paying Howard’s 5-year, $125M contract will be WAY worse than not having Ryan Howard.

    • JBerardi - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM

      Ryan Howard sucks, idiot.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      If Pujols would accept 8/$240M, he’d be a Card for life already.

      What’s more, Colby Rasmus is worth a ton already. And Ryan Howard, while still a good player, has negative trade value given his contract.

      Fiorentino – having no idea how baseball works since 198_.

    • macjacmccoy - Feb 24, 2011 at 5:22 AM

      that makes no sense for the Phillies imo. Pujos is better I know that his obs average and kis are alot better then Howards but in the big categories RBI, R, HR, Howard is better. Since coming in to the league 5 years ago no one has matched Howard in those categories. His production went down but did most peoples thats y it was the year of the pitcher. but his average went up. Straight Howard for Pujos would be a no brainer for the Philles. All experts and most fans agree that Brown is going to be 1 of the top outfielders in the league in a few years. He will hit for power, average, his fast, has a cannon arm, and can field. Hes got all 5 tools. Rasmus is a good player n better then brown now, but Browns ceiling is so much higher. Victorinos contract is coming to an end and Ibanez will be gone trading Brown would kill the future of this teams outfield. Then your also damaging our rotation by trading Blanton. Who we need next year when Oswalt is gone. The Phillies can win with the team they have now they dont need Pujos. It would only make this years team slightly better while diminshing the futre of the team for the next few years. You only do a trade like this if you dont think you can win without making the trade or you think the window will be closed after this year. None of these things are true so it makes no sense to do it. Im with you though it would be cool to have Pujos but only if the deal was greatly weighed in the Phillies favor. Otherwise its not worth it.

  14. jamson64 - Feb 23, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Ahhhh Albert in pinstripes. Sooo beautiful.

    • macjacmccoy - Feb 24, 2011 at 5:00 AM

      Yep he’ll look good in those Cubs’ Pin Stripes. Just like Mauer in his Twins’ Pin Stripes and Lee in his Phillies’ Pin Stripes. Sorry guy ever since Big Stein left no one who matters wants to be a Yankee anymore.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 24, 2011 at 5:25 AM

        It’s funny that you mention that about players and their preference on where to play. Considering the 2 teams you mention the Twins who the Yankees own and are considered roadkill by the Yankees and the Phillies who as the best I can remember lost to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series the last time they played any games of meaning. I’m going to go out on a limb and say those players you are thinking of don’t matter as much as you think they do.

  15. macjacmccoy - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:47 AM

    Damn it Gleeman I just lost another battery.

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