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Cardinals playing it by ear with Wainwright

Sep 2, 2012, 4:57 PM EDT

Photo by US-Presswire

After the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series at the end of last season, it was easy to forget they did it without one of their best pitchers in Adam Wainwright. Coming off of two consecutive seasons where he finished in the top three of Cy Young voting, the All-Star pitcher had Tommy John surgery last February, just a month before the season began.

Wainwright is back this season, in the first year since having the procedure, and has already pitched 168.2 innings. According to his manager, Mike Matheny, the team has no plans to shut him down this year and will essentially play it by ear.

“We’re going to go full steam ahead with Adam until he feels anything not normal. He has had a great stretch here, except his last start he’s been as good as anybody. As long as he is feeling good we’re going to keep going,” he said.

This presents a stark contrast to the Nationals and their plans with Stephen Strasburg. Heading into Sunday’s game, Strasburg had pitched 150.1 innings and is expected to be shut down for the season in the next two weeks. Strasburg had his surgery about six months before Wainwright, but because of several differences between the two, Matheny understands Washington’s position.
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  1. peric - Sep 2, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    They've also taken a very cautious approach with Alex Meyer. And apparently with Nate Karns. Both are power pitchers. And you'll have to expect it will be the same with Giolito, Purke, and Solis. Mooneyham and Ray as well. All up and down the minors Rizzo has consistently taken this approach. He believes he understands how best to develop the power pitchers needed to make perennial runs at the pennant. So, far following medical advice based on statistical evidence accumulated on teenaged boys who suffer arm problems seems to be working. Perhaps GM's like the Cardinals should take the courses, and the MCATs and get a degree in medicine if they don't want to listen to the experts. I doubt they are smart enough. Just ask Carpenter how his arm feels after burning it out.

  2. hiramhover - Sep 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Wainwright's years of experience and innings pitched are the main difference, I agree, but there is one more–the Cards only control Wainwright for one more year, the Nats control Stras for 4 more. Not to be too cynical about it, but there's not as much future value that the Cards have at stake in Wainwright.

  3. peric - Sep 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I agree, but there is one more–the Cards only control Wainwright for one more year, the Nats control Stras for 4 more. And if they play their cards right? Maybe even more. I'm sure Boras won't be an impediment to that.Wise did a fair job of presenting Boras opinion (and Rizzo's) on this:Mike Wise on the impending ShutdownWho do I believe? Boras who has the interest of his client at heart or the St. Louis Cardinals GM who has both Wainwright and Carpenter in his "rotation". Well maybe not after they get through with them.

  4. Scott Margenau - Sep 2, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Hell yea!!

  5. SonnyG10 - Sep 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Good post peric. Thanks for the Mike Wise link.

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