St. Louis Cardinals: Adam Wainwright took the time he needed

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 3: Starter Adam Wainwright
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 3: Starter Adam Wainwright /

The St. Louis Cardinals must now be overjoyed with the performance of Waino and I- for one- am happy eating a solid dose of crow.

Good for you, Adam Wainwright. Good for you, St. Louis Cardinals. Crow tastes so good when I get to see the performance that Waino is producing. In a world where everything happens quickly, fans were predicting that Wainwright’s career was finished when his climb out of the DL was taking so long. I was one of these fans.

I was wrong. I admit it. Can the other fans join me in admitting this error?

To be honest, the St. Louis Cardinals may have learned from the error of their ways in speeding pitchers back from injury. Perhaps they learned from the cautionary tales of Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, and Alex Reyes.

The Wacha warning was exemplified by a sped-to-start Wacha who was unable to return fully from injury and had his season shut down not long ago.

The Martinez warning came when the Cards rushed him back through rehab. If you remember, Martinez appeared in two rehab starts before he was thrust back into the St. Louis Cardinals rotation. Then, boom, injured again.

When Martinez returned the second time off the DL. the St. Louis Cardinals wisely moved him to the bullpen to manage his workload. This move is paying off for them in 2018 as he was able to step in for the injured and tired Bud Norris. I look for Martinez to return to the rotation in 2019.

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The worst offense made by the rushing St. Louis Cardinals was in the Alex Reyes case. Reyes seemingly was given plenty of time to return: he started in AA and AAA more than once and showed what looked to be a “ready” pitcher. This was false as he appeared in only one game once he arrived in St. Louis before returning to the DL and being shutdown for the season.

Back to Wainwright… Adam clearly used his time off wisely, making adjustments to his motion and downgrading the demand on speed. His velocity was dipping naturally due to age and, in his previous iterations, he was fighting against this trying to remain the pitcher he once was when he was younger.

This version of Wainwright, the one having now returned from the DL, has seemingly embraced the dip in velocity and is allowing it to make him a tricky pitcher who is confounding batters.

In both of his starts since returning this time from the DL, Adam has seemed surprisingly dominant. He has kept runners off base by allowing them to make contact with the ball ending in standard outs and double-plays.

Where his strikeout counts have dissipated, his recorded outs have increased.

What hasn’t changed has been his approach as a hitter. In today’s game, Wainwright recorded one of the St. Louis Cardinals’ RBIs on the day with a solid single over the infield.

Here’s the crow: I was wrong. Wainwright took the appropriate time he needed and deserved. This has worked out and looks as though it will continue to work for the St. Louis Cardinals. Having said that, there isn’t one player on the squad I’m happier for that I was wrong than Adam Wainwright.

Next. Where are the 2014 prospects now?. dark

I tip my cap to the ACE and wish him the best finish to 2018. Should he return in 2019, then I wish him well there too.