St. Louis Cardinals: All good signs from Adam Wainwright so far this Spring

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St Louis Cardinals pitches against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 26, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St Louis Cardinals pitches against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 26, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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Adam Wainwright will be part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation to start the year. While this scared some, he has looked like his former self this Spring.

This year may very well be the last hoorah for the career of St. Louis Cardinals‘ pitching great, Adam Wainwright. As Waino’s career moves into its 14th year, he has still not thrown a single Major League pitch in another uniform, I would venture to guess he never will.

Last year, Waino almost threw in the towel. Waino began last spring by issuing his own comment that he would not entertain any retirement talk or questions at any time. From there, Waino went on to pitch just 40 innings last year. At one point his postgame vocabulary that normally was optimistic turned almost submissive to the fact that he might be done.

Even after then Waino stormed back and provided some valuable innings down the stretch as the Cardinals tried to make the playoffs. While he did pitch much better over his last three or four starts of 2018, it was not at any level more than what you would want from a fifth starter.

As many fans know, Waino was technically a free agent for about 10 minutes before the team signed him back this offseason to a very incentive-latent deal that starts at just $2M dollars and can grow mightly from then. So far this Spring, Waino seems like he walked out of a time machine.

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Through four starts and 14 innings this year, Waino has just a 2.51 ERA with three walks and 11 strikeouts. Most recently, Waino pitched into the 6th inning against the Astros before being taken out only to go to the bullpen to throw more pitches because he was at just 64 pitches.

I have been ringing the “Spring stats don’t matter” bell for a while and I’m going to apply it good and bad because, at the end of the day, Spring Training stats don’t win you a World Series. That being said, the eye test is more important than the stats, and Waino is passing with flying colors.

I am not able to link the clip, but if you check out the five strikeouts he threw, it looks like vintage Waino to me. Yes, I am an undying homer and want Wainwright to perform this year, but how can you watch how good his curveball looks and not get excited.

If Waino is healthy and even just gives the Cardinals 4th starter numbers, it will do amazing things for this team. Especially with the big question mark surrounding just what role and production the team is going to get from Carlos Martinez and the 5th starter, they need Waino to step up. At 37 years old, the odds are against him, but how many times has an old pitcher kept performing at that age? It’s not as uncommon as you think.

Next. How has Paul Goldschmidt done this spring?. dark

Adam Wainwright looks the part and is currently pitching the part to be back towards his former self this year. He certainly won’t win a Cy Young and may not even make it the whole year depending on performance and health, but whatever Wainwright has left, there’s no doubt he is gonna give it to the St. Louis Cardinals.