It’s a pretty simple formula; when Waino succeeds, the St. Louis Cardinals succeed.
Adam Wainwright, a name synonymous with the success of the St. Louis Cardinals. Without a doubt, Wainwright is a complete game changer when he toes the rubber. This fact became evident last season. Even when the team experiences great success, it still just doesn’t feel the same when Waino isn’t healthy.
The question on everybody’s mind has to be how Waino will respond as he returns to a full-time starter role. Sure, we saw him a little bit late last season, but those were unique circumstances. The Cardinals had to be cautious with his return, and he still has yet to make a start following his injury.
I’m not saying the Cardinals choosing not to start him wasn’t a smart move because it definitely was. I think we would all do the same thing if we were in Matheny’s position. When Wainwright hadn’t started a game since April 25th, you have to ease him back into things.
One thing I was interested in seeing was how he rebounded in 2012 following Tommy John surgery. Obviously, the elbow and achilles are completely different, but still impactful injuries nonetheless.
In that 2012 season, Wainwright posted a 14-13 record with a 3.94 ERA. Definitely not the most flashy numbers, but not bad by any means. This is especially true considering the fact that he was one year removed from Tommy John. The most important thing from that season: he managed 32 starts and 198.2 innings pitched without any flare-ups.
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That’s one thing that always seems to be a plus for Wainwright. Aside from a few serious injuries, Waino normally does a really good job staying healthy. Since becoming a starter in 2007, he’s only failed to reach 30 starts in a season three times. He reached 20 in 2008, but was cut back mid-way through with a middle finger strain.
Another positive is that in those 30-start seasons he managed 200 innings in five of six of those seasons. So not only is he staying healthy and pitching often, but he’s going deep into ball games as well.
So what am I getting at, why am I throwing out these numbers? We already know that Waino is one of the best pitchers in the game. I don’t expect that to change this year.
Expect Wainwright to be his normal dominant self in 2016. One thing that puts Waino above everyone else is his tenacity when he hits the mound. No one is as determined to succeed when they are out there as Waino is. He’s very, very passionate about the game and that won’t change with the Cubs favored in the National League Central.