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Tag:Adam Wainwright
Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:05 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 11:42 pm
 

Anniversary approaching, Wainwright feels great

JUPITER, Fla. -- Tuesday is the anniversary of the day Adam Wainwright's 2011 season ended with an elbow injury.

"I'll celebrate it," Wainwright said Sunday. "Maybe strike out a few guys."

If the rest of Wainwright's 2012 spring is as smooth and happy as the start of it was, the Cardinals will celebrate, because the guy who finished second in the 2010 National League Cy Young voting (after finishing third in 2009) now says that Tommy John surgery was only "a speed bump in my career."

Wainwright has been throwing every third day for more than a month now, so his bullpen session on the first official day of spring training wasn't exactly a revelation. It was, however, a reminder of how far he has come, and how quickly it has all happened.

He was hurt on Feb. 21. He had surgery a week later.

Now, when you ask how good he feels, he says, "I'm reluctant to talk about it, because it feels so good."

Now, he says, "I go home at night not thinking about icing. I'm thinking about what time American Idol's coming on."

The Cardinals have suggested that they may need to limit Wainwright's innings this year. He said Sunday that he doesn't believe in that.

"I refuse to put a limit on innings," he said. "What if I have 185-190 innings going into September? I can't pitch the rest of the season?"

The first step, though, is to get past Feb. 21.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Cardinals to add Schumaker to WS roster

ST. LOUIS -- The last thing Skip Schumaker did for the Cardinals was drive in the only run in their 1-0 Game 5 Division Series-clinching win over Roy Halladay.

The next thing he'll do: Play in the World Series.

Schumaker, who missed the National League Championship Series because of an oblique strain, has been added back to the roster for the World Series, which begins Wednesday night.

"I'm 100 percent ready to go," Schumaker said Tuesday. "I feel like I can help the team."

Schumaker is a left-handed hitter, and he didn't start against either of the two left-handed Phillies starters in the first round. Three of the four Rangers World Series starters are lefties, so Schumaker may contribute more off the bench.

He is a likely starter in Game 2, against Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis.

Schumaker was 6-for-10 against the Phillies, but he spent the NLCS on the bench next to injured starter Adam Wainwright.

"I was the biggest cheerleader, with my buddy Adam," said Schumaker, who will likely replace outfielder Adron Chambers on the Cardinals roster.

Wainwright, who had Tommy John surgery in spring training, has called himself the Cardinals' biggest cheerleader all season.

"I could be ready [to pitch] by November, but that doesn't do may any good," Wainwright said. "Maybe a couple of weeks of rainouts would help."

The Cardinals also made a switch in the bullpen, adding Jake Westbrook back to the roster to replace Kyle McClellan.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 2:49 pm
 

The NL Central has become injury central

I'm guessing Jonny Gomes won't be dancing around or singing. I'm guessing Ryan Braun won't be, either.

But when I talked to one Reds person a few minutes after we found out that Albert Pujols will miss the next month with a broken wrist, his reaction was exactly what you'd expect.

"You hate to see anyone get hurt," he said. "But this is great news for us."

Pujols' injury is horrible news for the Cardinals, and bad news for baseball in general -- no Pujols in the All-Star Game, for one thing -- but it's great news for the Reds and for the Brewers . . . if they can stay healthy themselves.

Seriously, has any division race in baseball been as dominated by injuries this year as the National League Central?

The Cardinals have been without Adam Wainwright all year, without Matt Holliday for two tough stretches, without other lesser-known but key pieces like David Freese and Nick Punto, and now without Albert.

The Reds were without two of their five starters (Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey) for the first month of the season, and now they're without Bailey again. Key reliever Aroldis Chapman has spent the last month on the DL, as well, although his injury is much less serious than his continuing control problems. And Scott Rolen has already been on the DL once, and plays with significant enough pain that he's always a threat to go back there.

The Brewers missed Zack Greinke for the first month, and Corey Hart and Jonathan Lucroy for most of the first month. And Shaun Marcum left his last start early with a hip problem. And key reliever Takashi Saito appeared in just two games before going on the DL, where he remains.

Every year in spring training, someone reminds us that it's often not the best team that wins, but the healthiest. Every year, some very talented team doesn't make the playoffs, and injuries are one of the biggest reasons (2010 Red Sox).

But what happens when an entire division gets hurt?

We'll see this year, in the NL Central.

*****

As it turns out, C. Trent Rosecrans of our Eye on Baseball team was in the Reds clubhouse Sunday when Pujols was hurt, and he can confirm that neither Gomes nor any of the other Reds were singing about it.

"The only thing I heard was someone talking about being upset that he was hurt," Rosecrans said.

You might remember the minor stir in spring training, when Gomes was reported to be happily singing about Wainwright's injury (a report that Gomes stridently denied).
Posted on: March 30, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 4:05 pm
 

The All-DL opening day All-Stars

It's a team that might contend for a title, if it could only get on the field.

Then again, that's exactly the problem.

Think of the players that will (or likely will) begin the season on the disabled list. It's quite a group, lacking a little (for now) on the left side of the infield and behind the plate, but overflowing with top-level starting pitching and back-of-the-bullpen depth.

Not all the opening day rosters are official yet. Some teams are waiting until closer to Thursday's 11 a.m. deadline for final decisions, which only means that the All-DL-Stars could have an even better lineup by the time the first pitch is thrown.

Jason Bay, for example, should be your All-DL-Star left fielder by then. The Mets are expected to put him on the disabled list, but they haven't said so publicly yet. So I left him off, in part because this team is strong enough without him.

For now, we'll only go with guys we're pretty sure of.

So here goes:

1B -- Kendrys Morales, Angels

2B -- Chase Utley, Phillies

SS -- Clint Barmes, Astros

3B -- Nick Punto, Cardinals

LF -- Cody Ross, Giants (Bay could take his spot)

CF -- Grady Sizemore, Indians (with Franklin Gutierrez also available)

RF -- Corey Hart, Brewers

C -- Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers

Rotation -- Adam Wainwright, Cardinals; Zack Greinke, Brewers; Johan Santana, Mets; Mat Latos, Padres; Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays (with Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and others in reserve)

Closer -- Brian Wilson, Giants (with the Phillies' Brad Lidge and the A's Andrew Bailey setting him up)

You'd take that team, wouldn't you?

You'd be guaranteed to lose on opening day, because not one of them could play, but you'd take that team.


Posted on: September 3, 2010 11:02 am
 

3 to watch: The Importance of showdowns edition

We circle them on the schedule. We ask about the matchups.

We even feature them in 3 to watch.

And then, right before our eyes, the most important series of the summer can fizzle out before they even begin.

And we wonder if they were ever as important as we made them out to be in the first place.

Reds vs. Cardinals?

Remember what happened last time?

Yeah, we remember. In that all-important series last month in Cincinnati, the Reds did all the talking (and some of the fighting), and the Cardinals did all the winning.

Important series, right?

Yeah, except that the Cardinals seem to have forgotten that cliché about how every game is important, about how it doesn't matter if you win the head-to-head meetings if you then lose against somebody else.

Since those three wins at Great American Ball Park, the Cards are 5-13. They've won just one series (against the Giants), and lost five others -- all to sub-.500 teams.

The Reds, meanwhile, have gone 14-4. They've lost just one series (against the Giants), and won five others -- two of them against winning teams.

So now, as the Reds and Cardinals meet again, the Reds come in with an eight-game lead.

There's still plenty to talk about, and perhaps Brandon Phillips will open the series by doing more talking.

There's Albert Pujols vs. Joey Votto. There's Walt Jocketty and Scott Rolen coming back to St. Louis as likely NL Central conquerors. There's Tony La Russa vs. Dusty Baker, and who knows if that's the last time we'll see them go against each other.

And, if you think the Cardinals still have a chance to catch the Reds, there's the point that now this really is the most important series of the summer.

And that's why we're still featuring it in 3 to watch.

1. Five of the last 10 teams to make the World Series had at least a seven-game losing streak at some point during the season. That's not a prediction that the Padres will make it, just a reminder that their current seven-game spin doesn't necessarily doom them to collapse. It does put huge pressure on them in the 10-game homestand that begins with Rockies at Padres, Friday night (10:05 ET) at Petco Park . The first game would be an interesting one, anyway, because for the first time since May, the Padres are going away from their five-man rotation, in this case starting 25-year-old rookie Cory Luebke. For now, Luebke is only giving the other five starters an extra day of rest, but if he pitches well and ends the streak, manager Bud Black will have even more to think about in the days to come.

2. It's hard to blame the Cardinals' collapse on anyone in particular. You certainly can't blame Pujols, who has a 1.142 OPS over the 18 games. And as for the pitching, the Cards' team ERA over the last 18 games (4.15) is better than the Reds' team ERA (4.69) over the same span. But take a look at Adam Wainwright, who might have been the Cy Young leader after his Aug. 11 win in Cincinnati (which left him 17-6 with a 1.99 ERA). Wainwright is 0-3 with a 5.21 ERA in three starts since, heading into Reds at Cardinals, Saturday afternoon (4:10 ET) at Busch Stadium . Travis Wood, Wainwright's 23-year-old mound opponent, didn't face the Cardinals in the series in Cincinnati. In the three weeks since, he's 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA.

3. The Yankees and Rays are both heading to the playoffs, but they say it's important to finish first in the American League East, in part because it means home-field advantage if the two teams meet in the American League Championship Series. In effect, there's the same kind of battle going on this weekend, in a series that ends with Rangers at Twins, Sunday afternoon (2:10 ET) at Target Field . The AL Central-leading Twins head into the series with a 1 1/2-game lead over the AL West-leading Rangers, which means that the Twins would have home-field advantage if these two teams met in the ALCS. The Twins have other things on their mind, with just a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place White Sox. The Rangers also have something else on their mind: Cliff Lee's back, which was sore enough that Lee had an injection this week in Texas. Lee's scheduled side session Saturday may be as important to them as any of the games they play this weekend.
Posted on: July 2, 2010 10:28 am
 

3 to watch: The What are the chances? edition

The folks at Cool Standings put the numbers in their computer and gave the Brewers a 4.1 percent chance of making the playoffs this year. The computers at Baseball Prospectus said no, that's not true; by their reckoning, it's actually a 2.4 percent chance.

Sometime soon, very soon, the computers -- and the humans -- at Miller Park will need to decide whether they believe those numbers. They'll need to decide whether the Brewers have any realistic chance to get back into the race, and what it means if they don't.

And if not, they need to decide whether this month is the time to trade Prince Fielder.

Two things seem clear about Fielder and the Brewers: First, that the team has very little chance of signing him long-term (probably less than 4.1 or 2.4 percent), which means he's headed for free agency after the 2011 season. Second, that while trading Fielder might be the best long-term decision, it's unlikely (less than 4.1 or 2.4 percent) to make the Brewers better this year.

So that brings us to the Brewers series this weekend in St. Louis, which might just have greater impact than any early-July series should. Brewers decision-makers are scheduled to meet next week in Milwaukee, and a few wins (or a few losses) in the Cardinals series could easily influence their thoughts.

Yes, it's true, the Reds are actually in first place in the National League Central. But the Cardinals remain the division powerhouse (Cool Standings and Baseball Prospectus both still give them the best chance at winning the Central, and so do we).

The Brewers are still seven games back of the Cardinals, even after Thursday's 4-1 win in the series opener. But they don't need to catch them this weekend. They do need to give their front office and ulta-competitive owner a sense that this season can still be saved.

Fielder seems to be doing his part, with nine home runs in the last 19 games (including one Thursday night).

It may be that the Brewers don't trade Fielder even if they're out of it. General manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week that he believes the winter is a better time to trade a position player. The Brewers, who have drawn big crowds ever since their 2008 trip to the playoffs, can't afford to be seen by their fans as giving up too early on 2010 (and perhaps on 2011, as well).

Still, a few wins (or a few losses) now could tip the balance. Especially this weekend.

On to 3 to watch:

1. After Stephen Strasburg lost to the Braves on Monday night, winning pitcher Tim Hudson said that opposing hitters and pitchers naturally gear up for games against the phenom. "Everybody he pitches against is going to come up with their best at-bats, and every pitcher is going to try to throw a shutout," Hudson said. So what should we expect from R.A. Dickey, in Mets at Nationals, Saturday afternoon (4:10 EDT) at Nationals Park ?

2. The Mariners, like the Brewers, keep wondering whether they have any chance to get back in the race (Cool Standings says 0.2 percent for them). But Cliff Lee, unlike Fielder, is going to be a free agent at the end of this year. But where, and when? Perhaps we'll know more after Lee's next scheduled start, in Mariners at Tigers, Sunday afternoon (1:05 EDT) at Comerica Park .

3. One reason the Brewers might have a chance is that their starting rotation is miles better than what it was last year. The starters have a combined 3.73 ERA since May 25, and they've been even better (3.07 ERA) over the last 16 games. And 24-year-old Yovani Gallardo (8-1, 2.04 ERA since the middle of April) is emerging as the ace they always believed he could be. Gallardo gets a big assignment, in Brewers at Cardinals, Sunday afternoon (2:15 EDT) at Busch Stadium , with Adam Wainwright starting for St. Louis.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com