Blog Entry

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 11:57 am

JUPITER, Fla. -- Ace pitcher Adam Wainwright is done for 2011 and is expected to miss much of 2012 as well. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak confirmed what the club believed a day earlier: Wainwright will undergo Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.

"I don't want to be melodramatic here, but you're losing an ace," Mozeliak said late Thursday morning as the Cardinals worked out. "It's not something you're going to replace overnight, but we have four capable pitchers who can step up.

"It's not as if we have no bullets. Everybody moves up one and now you have to fill the fifth spot."

Together with Chris Carpenter, Wainwright was a huge part of a Cardinals team expected to contend again in the NL Central. With Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and a healthy Kyle Lohse, Mozeliak made clear that the club is not cashing in on 2011 before it even begins.

"As far as our expectations of the season, nothing changes," the GM said. "We still expect to be good. The talent level in the clubhouse is still very high."

The Cardinals first will look internally to fill the gaping void, with Kyle McClellan the odds-on favorite to move from the bullpen into the rotation. The club will take a look at several other pitchers in these early weeks of spring as well: Adam Ottavino, Brian Tallet, P.J. Walters, Lance Lynn and Brandon Dickson among them.

Miguel Batista could be in that mix as well. But it might make more sense for McClellan to step up and then Batista to fill his late-innings role.

Wainwright, 29, was second in NL Cy Young voting last season, won 20 games and pitched 230 1/3 innings. His wins ranked only behind Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, and his innings-pitched workload ranked only behind Halladay and Carpenter. Wainwright's career-low 2.42 ERA trailed only Florida's Josh Johnson.

Once they were eliminated from playoff contention, the Cardinals shut Wainwright down early last season, skipping his final start, when he complained of soreness near his elbow. The diagnosis came back forearm strain, and Wainwright was put on a rest-and-rehabilitate schedule.

He has a history of elbow problems going back to 1998, and they occurred again in 2004.

"We didn't think it was going to go away," Mozeliak said. "We always knew that there was this risk.

"I don't think he would have changed anything. He pitched very well with it."

The Cardinals just picked up Wainwright's two-year, $21 million option through 2013, but language in the deal allows them to void it if the right-hander is on the disabled list with an arm injury at the end of the 2011 season.

"News of this is so fresh, in terms of contractual obligations and 2012, we're just trying to get through the day," Mozeliak said. "We'll have time to reflect on that."

Speaking earlier in the day, manager Tony La Russa said, "It's much more unfortunate for Adam, and it's really tough on us. You make adjustments. One key thing is how deep you are.

If you're not deep, a hit like this can sink you."

Beginning this week, the Cardinals will work like crazy so that this devastating injury does not sink them for 2011.

It will not be easy.


Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:59 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

Something doesn't make sense here.....if he had this problem, why didn't they get it taken care of 4 months ago.  He could have re habbed 2011 and been ready to go by now will most likely cut into his 2012 season.  Is it just me, or does this current cardinals "management" have a history developing with pitchers?  Ask Matt Morris....ask Bob Gibson, he has made some comments in the past......WOW.....what a blow to the franchise.  Wainwright getting 18mill this year??  carp 15, westbrook 11, lohse 10?  No knock on carp and wainwright...but if the folks in st louis are upset about pujols asking price, i think you should be looking at what some of these other players are making.  If you look at lohse's career, he had on good season...he's 10 games under .500 for his career with a near 5.00 era.  Is he really worthy of a 4 year 44million dollar deal?  That just blows my mind.....

Since: Feb 25, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2011 7:51 am

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

Wainwright's loss will criple Cardinal nation and force Carpentar to carry a load and breakdown...couldn't happen to a better guy..what goes around comes around....maybe Molina won't have to start fights with other teams (Phillips/Reds) as the Cardinals will be done by July...opens the Central up for Brewers/Reds and gives Cubs fans nice to see the Pirates ahead of the Cardinals....for all anti-Cardinal fans..enjoy this year...should be the one that pushes Pujols to seek a team outside St. Louis and Tony L to hang it up!

Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:08 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

Cubs fans...give it a rest. Pitchers get injured. Why is Dusty the only manager who is held personally responsible for any pitcher getting injured on his roster? Is it because you need a scapegoat for your team's perpetual suckitude?

Wainwright has gone over 230 IP the last two years, now he's hurt. Tony LaRussa destroyed his career!

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 9:22 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

as long as it's not the reds.

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 9:15 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

hope the cards can somehow overcome the loss of wainy,
and the constant barrage of the media over pujols looming free-agency.
gonna be a tough year.

need carp to step up, garcia to avoid the sophmore jinx,
westbrook to continue to improve under duncan,
lohse to avoid being a loser,
and a 5th starter to avoid annihilation.

the bats will need to drastically improve from last year,
for them to realistically compete for the NL central title.
berkman needs to earn his 8 mil.,
frese must return with a bang,
and theriot better learn how to field better,
to make up for his non-existant bat.
or we're skrewed.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:26 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

Hamels or Blanton and Howard for Pujols?

Call Ruben @ 215-Phillie

Since: Jul 6, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 5:02 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

The Cards have a history of finding the people they need to compete successfully. Boy, what a developement.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:16 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

As bad as I feel for Wainwright for not only what he means to the Cards, but how this effects his career.  But, here's the question.  How did this happen?  He was shut down in September and now he's done for 11.  Based on this article (which provides nothing), and what I've read he now has "stiffness" in his elbow following Monday's throwing session.  So, we're to believe that some five months later he needs TJ surgery? If he's put any strain on his elbow since last season other than hoisting a beer glass I would be surprised.  Someone from St. Louis needs to come clean.

Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 2:25 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

wouldn't be surprised at all if the Brewers win the Central now.

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2011 2:22 pm

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

Not to mention young talent in the new Closer Axford and Casey Mcgee. Underrated if anything not overrated.

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