Tag:Adam Wainwright
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:13 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Wainwright seeking second opinion

Adam WainwrightCardinals ace Adam Wainwright is seeking a second opinion on his right elbow, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told reporters Wednesday evening.

"Ninety-nine times out of 100 a player would seek a second opinion on this," Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "At this point, Adam would like to seek a second opinion, so before we make any conclusions on what was found we're going to do that at this time."

Wainwright met with team doctor Dr. George Paletta in St. Louis on Wednesday afternoon and there was no change to the Cardinals' stance that it is a "significant" injury.

Wainwright's MRI and other information is being forwarded to Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles.

Still, whatever happens, it doesn't look good. Mozeliak wouldn't say Wainwright would need season-ending ulnar collateral ligament surgery (better known as Tommy John surgery), but he said everything but.

"I don't want to speculate, but obviously ligament damage, that's usually what it results in," he told the Associated Press.

Wainwright has finished in the top three of Cy Young voting in each of the last two seasons, going 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA last season, good for a runner-up finish to Roy Halladay.

Wainwright's elbow was examined after the season, but it was determined at the time he didn't need surgery. On Monday, Wainwright said he felt something wrong in his elbow. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he didn't feel the injury was associated with last season's injury, which kept Wainwright from finishing the season.

"It was so strange because he had a great throw his first time out," La Russa told the AP.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Who replaces Wainwright?

Dave Duncan

While there's not exactly a great time to lose a pitcher that's been in the top three of the Cy Young voting each of the last two years, February may be one of the better times to get that kind of bad news.

Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan (above) and John Mozeliak at least have time to assess their options.

First off, it puts more pressure on Kyle Lohse, who goes from the highest-paid No. 5 in the league to the highest-paid No. 4 ($11.875 million both this season and next).

For now, La Russa said (from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch), "We're not going to look outside the organization. The answer is here."

So what's the answer? Here's a multiple choice.

Kyle McClellan1. Kyle McClellan -- One of the Cardinals best options out of the bullpen the last couple of years, McClellan came up as a starter and was even in the race to make the rotation last season before being beat out by Jaime Garcia. He has the arsenal to start -- including a slider he's shelved the last two years in the bullpen -- and is likely the favorite.

2. Lance Lynn -- A big right-hander (6-foot-6, 250), Lynn was 13-10 with a  4.77 ERA at Triple-A Memphis last season. He struck out 141 batters in 164 innings last season. He pitches in the mid-90s and also has a decent curveball and changeup. Having spent more than a year at Triple-A, he's likely to debut sometime this season, regardless of what happens out of the gate.

Ian Snell3. Ian Snell -- The Cardinals signed the former Pirate to a minor-league contract this offseason, hoping he'd be Duncan's next reclamation project. Snell was a 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2006 (with a 4.74 ERA), but has gone 23-39 with a 4.74 ERA since. Last season he started eight games for the Pirates and appeared in four more, going 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA.

4. P.J. Walters -- Walters started three games for the Cardinals last season, going 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA. Walters gave up nearly a hit an inning, but also managed to miss bats, striking out 11 in 16 innings as a starter. He was less successful as a reliever, but showed promise as a starter. He went seven innings on Sept. 29 against the Pirates, allowing just three hits and no runs.

5. Adam Ottavino -- Like Walters, Ottavino started three games for the Cardinals in 2010. He went 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in his two starts, allowing 12 runs in 14 1/3 innings, while walking eight. He was taken off the team's 40-man roster this offseason. He was 5-3 with a 3.97 ERA in nine starts at Memphis last season.

Shelby Miller6. Shelby Miller -- Miller breaking camp probably isn't going to happen -- and shouldn't. Miller is the team's top -- and some say only -- prospect. Miller has a bright future, but his only experience so far is 26 games in the low-A Midwest League. Last season he went 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA for Quad Cities. He has a good fastball and curveball, but has yet to show command of his changeup. Miller will be in St. Louis soon, just not this soon.

Sure, they say they're looking in-house first, but they may not like what they see and decide to go outside. It wouldn't be the first time La Russa said something and then did the opposite. There are a few available options:

Kevin Millwood1. Kevin Millwood -- The veteran has been holding out for a big-league contract, perhaps anticipating such an opportunity as this. Still, Millwood may not get that big-league contract from the Cardinals. He was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA for the Orioles last season.

2.  Joe Blanton -- The Phillies have said they're holding on to their fifth starter, but the Cardinals could be tempted. The problem is St. Louis' system isn't very deep and may lack the prospects to land Blanton, unless Philadelphia is looking to give him away.

3. Yankees castoffs -- The Yankees have certainly searched the scrap heap to replace Andy Pettitte, signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. If either -- or both -- of those veterans are jettisoned before the end of spring training, the Cardinals could bring either in to work with Duncan.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 3:18 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Cards' rival revels in Wainwright's woes?

Jonny Gomes Brandon Phillips started the fire between the Reds and Cardinals last season, Johnny Cueto stoked it and now Jonny Gomes may just have added another log to the fire.

The Cardinals are bracing for bad news as Adam Wainwright is headed to St. Louis to have his elbow looked at. Most of the world has already jumped to the conclusion that he's going to have to have Tommy John surgery, missing all of this season.

That word certainly reached Arizona, home of last year's National League Central champions. In a world where injuries aren't celebrated, Gomes wasn't hiding his excitement that the Cardinals may not be as strong as they were a season ago due to the loss of their ace.

"Wainwright's gone, Wainwright's gone, Wainwright's gone," Gomes sang "at the top of his warbly voice" as he entered the Reds' clubhouse on Wednesday morning, Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News  writes , adding that the singing was done "joyously." McCoy was the same person who reported Phillips "whiny little bitches" comment last year that led to a brawl. Gomes is 2-for-10 lifetime against Wainright with a homer and a double coming as his two hits.

Reds manager Dusty Baker took the high road, saying, "I hate to see that. He's not only a great pitcher, he seems like a fine young man, too," Baker said, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon . "Every time I've seen him, he's been mannerable, polite and respectful."

That said, Baker notes that it makes his rivals weaker.

"Nobody has the depth to overcome [the loss of] a Wainwright," Baker said, according to McCoy. "You can replace him, but in Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, you're talking two of the top six or seven pitchers in the league. … Philadelphia has most of the other ones."

While Baker did take the high road, he also got in a shot at his critics -- "who are they going to blame for that one?"

UPDATE: Well, this is interesting, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon checks in and says Gomes was not singing about Wainwright, and then called and got a further comment from Gomes, who insisted he was not gloating about the pitcher's injury. Sheldon says he was present when Gomes walked into the clubhouse and the outfielder was singing "You're the Best Around" by Joe Esposito from the original Karate Kid, not, as McCoy wrote, an unidentified tune with the lyrics "Wainwright's gone."

"I was doing an interview with [Rob] Dibble and Dibble gave me the breaking news that Wainwright was flying back to St. Louis with arm problems. That's all I heard. I came in and I said 'is Wainwright gone, is Wainwright gone?'

"To clear up everything, I came up with Wainwright. I know Wainwright. I think he's one of the top notch pitchers in the National League and baseball. Outside of different uniforms that we wear and different cities we play in, playing in the Major Leagues, we're all brothers. There's a brotherhood there. There's one thing you would never wish upon any other player and that's an injury. We've all had them at some point coming up and we might currently be having one now.

"From the bottom of my heart, I would never wish anyone an injury. If they did have an injury, you wish them the best in rehab. As Major League ballplayers, we have a brotherhood for each other. On the field, we're going to battle and play our nine innings and we're going to compete. Off the field, we're still human and we have families. There's one thing you don't wish upon anyone and that is an injury. Even if they are on the other team, you wish them the best of health. If Wainwright is gone, it doesn't mean anything to us. It maybe gives them the opportunity to make a trade for another big ace. The Cardinals are top notch themselves. They've battled with injuries there. They are a top notch organization with a top notch general manager and a top notch ownership."

UPDATE: Another writer on the Reds beat, the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay, checks in with his account of the "incident" and also talks to Gomes, who said he was "mortified" that it was reported he was celebrating Wainwright's injury:

I heard it. I honestly don’t remember exactly what he sang. I didn’t report it because I generally don’t write what players say aloud or sing in the clubhouse. I only use what I get in interviews.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 11:43 am
 

Cards' Wainwright may need Tommy John surgery

WainwrightBad news for the Cardinals Wednesday, as Adam Wainwright is headed to St. Louis to have his elbow examined, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Wainwright, who has finished No. 3 and No. 2 in Cy Young Award balloting the last two seasons, respectively, initially was diagnosed with a tear in the elbow in 2004. He has missed two turns with a strain in his elbow over his career, including the final start of last season.

"After his bullpen on Monday he did feel something in his right elbow," GM John Mozeliak told the Post-Dispatch. "I can say just based on the initial evaluation from our training staff, things do not look encouraging. But before [we] jump to any conclusions we'll just wait until the re-evaluation this afternoon."

Mozeliak did admit that, although it is speculation, ligament damage often results in Tommy John surgery.

After the evaluation, the club is expected to update the severity of the situation. This wouldn't be good news for any team, but you have to wonder if the Cardinals feel snakebit, what with the Albert Pujols contract saga and backup infielder Nick Punto being knocked out for three months.

Wainwright is entering the final guaranteed season of his contract in which he will make $6.5 million. He has two club options for 2012 and 2013 that were triggered by his top-five finish in the Cy Young Award balloting in 2010, but Wainwright cannot finish the year on the DL. It would still be an upset for St. Louis to not pick up the options, valued at $9 million and $12 million, respectively.

Is Tommy John surgery likely in the future? Eye on Baseball will stay on top of this story and update as more info comes in.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: November 22, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 2:15 pm
 

One MVP vote, deconstructed


Joey Votto It seems we have better ways of measuring value than we have of defining it when it comes to baseball nowadays.

There are, of course, WAR (wins above replacement) and RAR (runs above replacement) and WPA (win probability added) and a ton of others that are out there or even in development now. Of course, even if you pick one you like, such as WAR, there are different formulas; the two great statistical websites of the day, FanGraphs.com and Baseball-Reference.com, differ on how they calculate WAR.

And in the end, what does it mean? What defines value? Does a player have to not only help his team win, but do you put more emphasis on those players whose teams ultimately win more? And how much of that is due to that player or his teammates?

Is the MVP vote for the best player or the most outstanding or the most valuable?

I'd always wondered these things, and now I actually had to come up with an answers, as I voted for the MVP for the first time this year. I'd voted previously for the Cy Young, but not the MVP.

The actual ballot -- which was e-mailed to me -- has these rules, the same that were written on the first ballot in 1931:

1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

That doesn't help all that much, it leaves it open to interpretation and debate, which makes it quite fun.

It's also noted on my ballot that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters. Voting for the National League, I don't have to worry about the DH, but not that offense and defense are noted on the ballot rules.

The only statistic mentioned on the MVP ballot is games played, and that hurts a starting pitcher.  

There are those who see the Cy Young as a pitcher's award and the MVP as a position player's award. I'm not one of those. But I do find it difficult to put a starter in the same category. As you'll see in my ballot, I do have two starting pitchers in my Top 10. Both had outstanding seasons and were among the most valuable players in the league, though I'm not sure they had the same value as an everyday player.

In the end, I'm not sure there's a right answer. That's why 31 other people vote and we try to come up with a consensus, not just on an MVP but also on what the MVP means.

Albert Pujols In researching my vote, I made a spreadsheet with more than 30 players, and categories including WAR (both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference), OPS, OPS+, HR, UZR, games played, ERA, WHIP, xFIP and others. There were more I could use and in the end, I'm not sure any of these made the difference, I just liked seeing them all in front of me. I also did further research on a final list of 20, before whittling it down to about 12 and ranking them. I also talked to players, managers, coaches, scouts and other writers.

You might not agree with my ballot, but I hope you do realize I take this very seriously and put a lot of thought and work into it. With that said, here are the 10 players I turned into the BBWAA on my ballot and a little reasoning.  

1. Joey Votto, Cincinnati -- Votto had an outstanding season offensively and has continued to improve defensively. He also helped lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, no small feat.

2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis -- Consistently the best player in the game. It says something that in what is somewhat of an "off" season for him, Pujols is still as good as anyone and a worthy candidate for winning the MVP. Votto edged Pujols in just about every stat besides home runs and RBI.

3. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego -- Another first baseman with a great season. Gonzalez had much less around him than either Votto or Pujols, yet still put up great numbers and nearly led his team to the playoffs.

4. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado -- Tulowitzki gets dinged a bit for games played, but when he did play, he was incredible. He's a great defensive player, and maybe one of the best all-around in the game.

5. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado -- Gonzalez pushed at the triple crown, but his home/road splits were drastic -- just like his team, which was 52-29 at home and 31-50 on the road.

6. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia -- the unanimous selection for the Cy Young Award speaks for itself.

7. Matt Holliday, St. Louis -- Cardinals fans seemed to have something against the guy (well, maybe his huge contract), but he ended up with a spectacular season.

8. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis -- had a lower ERA than Halladay and his WHIP was just a tick higher.

9. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington -- like Tulowitzki, one of the best all-around players in the game. His defense gives him a boost in WAR, because he's that good.

10. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco -- Huff had a quiet great season -- until the playoffs. Remember, these votes were due before the playoffs, but he was very good even before the postseason began.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 2:58 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 3:07 pm
 

No Cy, but not a bad day for Wainwright

Adam Wainwright Sure, Roy Halladay got a silly little trophy today, unanimously winning the National League Cy Young Award, but Adam Wainwright picked up $21.1 million.

Second place doesn't look so bad now, does it?

By finishing in the top five of the Cy Young vote, the Cardinals' team options for 2012 ($9 million) and 2013 ($12 million) became guaranteed, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts . He also got a $100,000 bonus for finishing second in the voting.

That said, he would have gotten an extra $1 million for 2012 had he won the Cy Young, but he can still get that next season.

So congrats to Halladay for a deserving Cy Young victory, but you can forgive the second-place finisher for having a huge smile on his face.

UPDATE: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes (via Twitter ) that for the options to become automatic, Wainwright has to be healthy at the end of 2011. That changes things, slightly, but still, not a bad day.

UPDATE: Damn fine print -- Goold also adds (again, on Twitter ) the two-year option would have been triggered with 170 innings or 27 starts and a healthy finish in 2011. But hey, at least he gets that $100,000 today. That should be enough for a nice celebration dinner.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:02 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 9:46 am
 

MLB Facts & Rumors Cy Young Awards

The major baseball awards will be announced next week, and the staff at MLB Facts and Rumors is making our choices this week. Today, David, Evan and Trent name their Manager of the Year selections. As with the BBWAA awards, a first-place vote is worth seven points, second place four, third place three, fourth place two and fifth place one.

While the National League award is for the best pitcher in the league, the American League vote seems to be a referendum on the BBWAA and its acceptance of newer statistics and abandoning the win as its basis for measuring a pitcher's success.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD

Felix Hernandez David Andriesen
1. Felix Hernandez, SEA
2. David Price, TB
3. CC Sabathia, NYY
4. Jon Lester, BOS
5. Jered Weaver, LAA

Some people will knock Hernandez for his team’s offensive futility, but I won’t. And if you take wins out of the discussion, he wins easily. Price edges Sabathia with an ERA nearly half a point better. If it seems strange Cliff Lee isn’t in this discussion, keep in mind he missed the first month of the season.

Evan Brunell
1. SP Felix Hernandez, SEA
2. SP CC Sabathia, NYY
3. SP Francisco Liriano, MIN
4. SP Jon Lester, BOS
5. SP David Price, TB

Lee stays off this ballot because in his time in Texas, he wasn't quite Cy Young-worthy as compared to full seasons of the above. Hernandez was otherworldly, but let down by one of baseball's worst offenses in history. With the run support of the Yankees, Hernandez very well could have reached 25 wins.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1. Felix Hernandez, SEA
2. David Price, TB
3. Francisco Liriano, MIN
4. CC Sabathia, NY
5. Cliff Lee, SEA/TEX

I think enough has been said about the Hernandez vs. the world, but I'm not sure Price or Liriano have quite gotten the credit they deserve. So many people have set it up as Hernandez vs. Sabathia, and I'm not so sure that's the right question.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD

Roy Halladay David Andriesen
1. Roy Halladay, PHI
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Josh Johnson, FLA
4. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
5. Tim Hudson, ATL

This one is really close, but I’m letting Halladay’s perfect game and NL lead in innings pitched put him ahead of Wainwright, who was second in the NL in wins and ERA. Jimenez came back to earth after his ridiculous first half, as did Johnson, who missed the last month but still finished with the ERA title.

Evan Brunell
1. SP Roy Halladay, PHI
2. SP Adam Wainwright, STL
3. SP Josh Johnson, FLA
4. SP Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
5. SP Tim Hudson, ATL

Halladay got more than he bargained for with Adam Wainwright neck-and-neck for the Cy race, but Halladay gets the nod due to innings pitched and xFIP, which clearly shows that Halladay was the better pitcher. His domination is evident to all.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1. Roy Halladay, PHI
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Josh Johnson, FLA
4. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL
5. Tim Lincecum, SF

It seems to be hard to believe that Halladay didn't live up to expectations -- and considering some expected him to win 30 games, he didn't live up to the highest of expectation. But he still had an amazing season and should win this one going away against some pretty good competition. Still, the fact that Halladay did what he was able to do in a bandbox of a ballpark, it's quite impressive. Kind of like the Rookie of the Year, give me any of these guys in a Game 1 and I feel pretty good.

MLB Facts and Rumors AL Cy Young Award
It's at least a runaway here, as Felix Hernandez gets the nod, making stat-heads happy everywhere. CC Sabathia and David Price tie for what Ricky Bobby would call "first loser." I still have enough faith in the BBWAA that it'll get this one right, despite so many doubters.

MLB Facts and Rumors NL Cy Young Award
The voting isn't as close as the race, but Roy Halladay is the unanimous winner. Expect the real vote to be similar.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 22, 2010 6:50 pm
 

Players choice finalists announced

Carlos Gonzalez In September, major-league players voted for the Players Choice Awards, coordinated by the union. Friday, the MLBPA released the three finalists for each of the awards, which will be announced over the course of next week.

Player of the year (both leagues): Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies, pictured), Josh Hamilton (Rangers), Joey Votto (Reds).

Man of the year (for off-field efforts): Torii Hunter (Angels), Brandon Inge (Tigers), Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies).

NL outstanding player: Gonzalez, Albert Pujols (Cardinals), Votto.

NL outstanding pitcher: Roy Halladay (Phillies), Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), Adam Wainwright (Cardinals).

NL outstanding rookie: Jaime Garcia (Cardinals), Jason Heyward (Braves), Buster Posey (Giants).

NL comeback player: R.A. Dickey (Mets), Tim Hudson (Braves), Aubrey Huff (Giants).

AL outstanding player: Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Hamilton.

AL outstanding pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Mariners), David Price (Rays), CC Sabathia (Yankees).

AL outstanding rookie: Wade Davis (Rays), Neftali Feliz (Rangers), Austin Jackson (Tigers).

AL comeback player: Freddy Garcia (White Sox), Vladimir Guerrero (Rangers), Francisco Liriano (Twins).

-- David Andriesen

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