Rants Daily: Adam Wainwright is back

christophercarelli
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A  little over a year ago Adam Wainwright left a practice field holding his prized right arm. He would not see game action in 2011 as he underwent Tommy John surgery the next day. Today, Adam Wainwright was back on the bump and looked well on his way back to the form that made him a contender for Cy Young awards in 2009 and 2010.

March 9, 2011; Ft. Myers, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) during the second inning of a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Wainwright helped the St. Louis Cardinals to their second straight Grapefruit League victory, a 3-2 decision over the Minnesota Twins. He threw 30 pitches in two innings, 16 for strikes. He through mostly fastballs, a cutter and a few curves. The curves where not finding the plate, but the cutter was successful. He froze Joe Mauer on a cutter in the first inning. He struck out two batters total and walked one without allowing any hits.

The start couldn’t have been any better for the Cardinals. Especially now with the neck stiffness slowing down Chris Carpenter, Wainwright’s health and effectiveness becomes even more important.

At the plate the Cardinals were led by Rafael Furcal‘s homer. Lance Berkman who requested to make the trip after not getting to play much on Thursday due to a rain delay, went 2-for-2. Berkman also wowed the crowd by stealing second base. Daniel Descalso had two hits in four chances maintaining his .500 average.

As for the relievers that followed Wainwright, Scott Linebrink threw a scoreless inning while allowing two hits. Kyle McClellan also pitched a shutout inning giving up one walk along the way. Memphis Redbirds’ closer from last season Victor Marte allowed a run on two hits and two walks but still recorded the save.

CARPENTER SENT TO NECK SPECIALIST

The other big news of the day was Chris Carpenter being sent to a neck specialist since his neck pain has not subsided. Carpenter had been lined up for the opening day start according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. He will most likely not make his scheduled start on Monday. If he can get a start in by the end of next week he could still make four starts before the end of the regular season. Last season he made three starts during spring training so if Cards’ manager Mike Matheny still wants him to start on opening day it can happen.

In the short term, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wainwright and Jaime Garcia will take their turns in the rotation on three days rest. Garcia will pitch on Monday and Wainwright on Tuesday. There is no mention about how many pitches each player will be allotted, but this would have been a side session days for them so don’t expect too many. Now, the pitches will matter, sort of.

TODAY’S GAME

Kyle Lohse is set to make his second start of the spring in a rematch against Josh Johnson and the Miami Marlins. Lohse fared well in his first start to open the exhibition season, throwing two innings of shutout ball. He is expected to throw more pitches in this game as he ramps up to the regular season. Lineups for today’s game have not been published at this point.

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