Cardinals' Adam Wainwright pitched through a labrum tear all season

Now it makes even more sense why Adam Wainwright had such a frustrating 2023 season for the Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Fresh off of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrating his historic career and riding off into the sunset, Adam Wainwright shed some light on the injury he pitched through in 2023 - and it's brutal.

While appearing on the "Foul Territory" podcast, Wainwright revealed that he had been pitching through a partially torn labrum all season, and during his excellent no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles in September, he fully tore that labrum.

Pitching through a partial tear all-season goes a long way toward explaining how bad his performances were at times, and why it looked like Wainwright was completely out of gas in his tank. He was, and he was digging deep each and every time out to try and compete for this club.

There are already fans who have voiced anger and frustration with Wainwright, believing he put himself first and jeopardized the team's success. If the Cardinals had been anywhere close to a contender this year, Wainwright would have been shut down and put in the IL, even if that meant he never reached career win number 200. If the Cardinals were close to shutting him down when they were out of contention, I know they would not have hesitated if the games meant something.

Speaking of his 200th win, Wainwright explained that if that start against the Brewers had not resulted in a win, he probably would have remained at 199 wins and missed out on that historic milestone.

"You think you're glad that I won 200 games, but I'm super glad because I wouldn't have had another shot at it. You know I'm not a quitter. I don't quit real easy and I was going to pitch that season out."

Adam Wainwright

Anyone who has gotten to know Wainwright will tell you about how he is a selfless, team-first guy. It's okay to have personal goals, like getting that 200th win, but at the end of the day, Wainwright and the Cardinals would have set that aside if it was going to prevent the team from the postseason. Frankly, there were so many other issues contributing to it as well, that by the time they would have pulled the plug, it did not matter anymore.


What a gutsy performance Wainwright put on this year, especially against the Brewers. While manager Oli Marmol is talking about having guys in the clubhouse who will do whatever it takes to win, Wainwright embodies that mentality.