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Wainwright missed all of the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. He struggled during the 2012 season following his return to the pitching mound but finished as one of the top three finalists for the National League Cy Young Award over the next two seasons.
2012: 14-13, 198.2 innings
2013: 19-9, 241.2 innings
2014: 20-9, 227 innings
The Cardinals ace made five starts in Spring Training as the club headed into the 2014 season.
“It will just be him continuing to get the work, but it just might not be work on the game field,” Matheny said on Friday.
If Wainwright is seeing action in one of the non-game fields, I don’t think anybody would have a problem with that even if it were to be a simulated game as opposed to the main games taking place at Roger Dean Stadium.
How does Wainwright feel about the matter? He seems to be okay with it should he be allowed to make four starts this spring. But what about three starts? The Georgian native does not believe that he’d be as sharp of a pitcher with only three starts.
“As long as we are talking about limiting starts now and not in the regular season I’m fine with it,” Wainwright said.
Wainwright hopes the workload limits applies to just the spring. “If I take starts off we may not get to the postseason,” he says. “And getting there, to me, seems pretty important.”
Even eneral manager John Mozeliak knows that Wainwright will be wanting the ball in his hand. If there’s a season on the line, people will be wanting Wainwright to be the guy that gets the ball.
Wainwright threw off the mound on Friday in addition to Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia. All three pitchers dealt with injury setbacks last season. It’s the latter of the three who has an uphill climb to make the team.