Don’t panic, St. Louis Cardinals fans. The headline isn’t meant to induce cardiac arrest in the hearts of many Cardinal followers.
It’s just a simple question that should be asked.
Wainwright, who pitched Tuesday against the Miami Marlins in his final spring tune-up, looks like he will get the ball when the Cardinals open the season Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
Fans should not be alarmed at his reduced workload this spring. He only pitched 7 2/3 innings, and Wainwright gave up four runs in his last start. According to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wainwright has had some issues with his fastball velocity and with his command.
This is to be expected. You didn’t think Wainwright would just show up and be his old self, right?
Provided nothing major happened in his last spring outing, expect Wainwright to take the ball against the Cubs. He won’t need any motivation to face Chicago. That rivalry should be strong once again, particularly as the Cubs get better with younger talent.
It will be worth watching to see how Wainwright fares out of the starting gate. If that strain has gone away, it could be another solid season for the veteran hurler.
If not, then it could be a long year for Cardinals fans.