Former St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has thrown his first rehab appearance, officially starting the process of returning.
It has been a long time since Adam Wainwright appeared in a competitive game following his elbow injury. But on Monday he strolled out to the mound sporting a Palm Beach uniform. He threw one inning, allowing one hit and striking out two batters. The St. Louis Cardinals might be getting their veteran arm back sometime next month.
Waino will be taking a long road back to the majors. It will take several rehab appearances to stretch him out and make sure his elbow will hold up. His first inning with Palm Beach is just the first step. And the first game back went pretty well.
Use Of Waino
Upon his return to St. Louis, it should be expected that he be in a relief role, something we have explored already at Redbird Rants. The recent news of Carlos Martinez coming back in a bullpen capacity should signal that the team wants the youth to get the starter innings.
That is the smart move to make. The inflammation in Wainwright’s throwing elbow that has kept him out for so long should not translate to him taking on a big workload when he comes back. In fact, the bullpen may be where he rides out the rest of his amazing career.
Future For Wainwright
Rick Hummel of St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a great piece on Wainwright and his potential retirement. To the surprise of (probably) no one, he isn’t ready to call it quits yet. Why would he be? Going out on an injury plagued season is not the way to end a career.
Wainwright is turning 37 soon, and he is in the final year of his contract. Due to his injury issues and decline in recent seasons, his future will be something to keep an eye on. His history with the St. Louis Cardinals just seems to strong to let him go that easy. He will certainly be coming back on a pay cut, and in a bullpen role, if he is going to return.
His first rehab appearance is the right step on the way back. If Wainwright can perform well when he comes back, then he will increase his chances to come back to the St. Louis Cardinals after his contract is up.