Adam Wainwright is once again the ace of the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, it is somewhat by default as news is Chris Carpenter is going to be out indefinitely due to nerve inflammation in his shoulder. Wainwright looks ready to shoulder, pardon the pun, the burden. He tossed another five shutout innings yesterday against the Miami Marlins in a 2-1 victory for the Cardinals.
Wainwright has now thrown 14 innings of shutout baseball. He has allowed only five hits during the entire spring. In yesterday’s game he threw a total of 65 pitches, 44 for strikes. Wainwright is pleased with where he is at this stage of the spring.
“Every time out, for the most part, I’ve felt more comfortable on the mound and felt like I have been able to make adjustments on the fly,” Wainwright said. “As you go into a season, that’s what you want.”
The Cardinals gave Wainwright little to work with on the offensive side. Matt Carpenter doubled and Koyie Hill walked in the second inning against Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano. They converted a double steal. Then Alex Cora singled in Carpenter. Hill later scored when Cora was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Those were the only two runs the Cardinals scored and all they would need.
The Redbirds got scoreless relief innings from Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas, who got the save. The only run the Marlins scored was via a home run by Jose Reyes off Kyle McClellan.
CARPENTER OUT INDEFINITELY
Indefinitely. This was among the last words anyone wanted to hear in reference to Carpenter’s ailment. While it isn’t out for the season, it doesn’t really clear things up for the Cardinals either. They have vowed to stay the course with Lance Lynn, just now for a longer period of time.
Carpenter will rest completely and go through treatments in an effort to relieve the inflammation. Once that is accomplished, he will have to start from scratch with a throwing program.
It is unfortunate that a timetable cannot be established at the moment so that the Cardinals could make a decision on whether to bring in another pitcher now, namely Roy Oswalt, who has become a hot topic once again.
NINE MEN FOR SEVEN SPOTS
According to Jenifer Langosch, manager Mike Matheny is not exactly ready to name the members of his bullpen, though it would seem that some are pretty well set. The last couple spots are being fought for by Boggs, Sanchez, Salas, Victor Marte and Scott Linebrink. Sanchez and Linebrook have not allowed a run all spring. Boggs has had the most issues of the bunch. There is still a week and a half of games to get through before a decision has to be made, and by the looks of it, Matheny may wait until the last moment.
The Cardinals send Carpenter’s replacement Lynn to the mound tomorrow in Port St. Lucie to face the New York Mets. Like the others before him, Lynn will try to get his pitch count into the 70 pitch area today. While it is not what the Cardinals hoped for, at the very least, they now have an idea that Lynn will be in the rotation for the foreseeable future. The chances of him feeling like a yo-yo no longer exist as he will be in the role minimally for two months and more likely longer assuming he performs adequately.
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, the Cardinals are fortunate to have a deep rotation. Certainly going out and signing a free-agent or making a trade to compensate for an extended loss to Carpenter is something the front office may think about, but it is not a necessity. Early word from general manager John Mozeliak seems to be that the team will hold pat with what they have now. Wainwright has looked incredible for a man returning from major arm surgery. Jake Westbrook looks great and has pitched exceptionally so far this spring. Kyle Lohse and Jaime Garcia have been a little erratic, but have also shown flashes of dominance. Lynn has looked like he was meant to be in camp as a starter. I know this is spring training so not all of this is going to last, but the Cardinals are not in a do or die situation right now. It is not the chosen path, and Lynn is not Carpenter. But, he should be good enough to get them through the early part of the season and allow Mozeliak to see how the entire staff is faring before he worries about signing Oswalt or trading for someone else down the line. Do you think the Cardinals should make a move for Oswalt now or wait?
Tags: Adam Wainwright Alex Cora Cardinals Carlos Zambrano Chris Carpenter Eduardo Sanchez Jake Westbrook Jason Motte John Mozeliak Jose Reyes Koyie Hill Kyle Lohse Kyle McClellan Lance Lynn Matt Carpenter Mike Matheny Mitchell Boggs Roy Oswalt Scott Linebrink St Louis Cardinals Victor Marte