Adam Wainwright opens up on leaving Cardinals to take care of family

After briefly stepping away from the St. Louis Cardinals to take care of his family, Adam Wainwright has returned — and took the mound Monday night.

Adam Wainwright is one of the best pitchers in Cardinals history. That much is obvious. His run of 16 seasons in St. Louis will go down as one of the most iconic stretches in franchise history, right up there with longtime teammate Yadier Molina.

Wainwright, however, has continually proven to have an even greater impact away from the field. He stepped away from the team briefly to take care of his wife, Jenny, and five children after they tested positive for COVID-19.

“She texted me saying, ‘I can’t go anymore without you being here’ so that’s why I had to go home,” Wainwright said, via Bally Sports in a 4:26 video that is well worth your time. “She’s an incredible woman. You don’t really realize how much they do until you have to fill that void.”

Wainwright, who returned to the team to start Monday against the New York Mets, said that his family is doing better and felt comfortable with him coming to St. Louis. Now that he is back, he will lead a Cardinals rotation along with Jack Flaherty that has helped navigate the team to an 8-2 record in their last 10 games and tied for first place with the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.

In his first start since coming back, Wainwright pitched 5.2 innings and allowed five runs in a 6-5 win against the Mets. He had shown signs of settling down before leaving the team, allowing three runs in his last 16 innings, and currently has a 4.72 ERA in 34.1 innings this season.

Wainwright should continue to settle in and while he may not be able to replicate his 3.15 ERA from last season, there is no doubting his importance to the Cardinals — both on and off the field.