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Friday, October 24, 2014

UPDATED: Cardinals Injury Update: Adam Wainwright has cartilage trimmed in his elbow


By on 10/24/2014 05:15:00 PM

The Cardinals have known for a while that right-hander Adam Wainwright's elbow was not 100%, and the team already planned to limit his work in 2015. After seeking a second opinion, Wainwright had a surgical procedure on his right elbow on Friday, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
UPDATE: 10/24/2014 5:15 p.m. The Cardinals clarified that it was cartilage around Wainwright's elbow, not his ligament, that was cleaned up.

The procedure addressed the irritation on the backside of his pitching elbow. General manager John Mozeliak said the surgery would have no impact on Wainwright's 2015 season and the pitcher should be ready to throw in six weeks.

Adam Wainwright

Wainwright, 32, a three-time All-Star, went 20-9 in 2014 with a 2.38 ERA (154 ERA+) including five complete games, striking out 179 while walking 50 in 227 innings for the 2014 season. He would be a strong Cy Young contender except for the other-worldly performance of Clayton Kershaw. As the Cardinals battled for the NL Central Division, Wainwright made five September starts, winning all five. He started three postseason games, going 16 innings, with an ERA of 5.63. Opposing batters put up a line of .318/.378/.455 against him--clearly not "Ace" performance. 

Perhaps part of the problem has been his heavy workload:  after spending the 2011 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Wainwright threw 667.1 regular season innings and another 66 "high stress" postseason innings from 2012-14.

Wainwright is a two-time Gold-Glove winner and perennial Cy Young and MVP candidate. In his nine-year major league career (all with the Cardinals), Wainwright has a record of 119-66, with a 3.01 ERA. Although he was the loser in Games 1 and 5 of the 2013 World Series, and despite his performance in 2014, Wainwright has compiled a postseason record of 20-11 with an ERA of 3.17 facing 317 of the best hitters in the game. Although he is unlikely to come close to 300 wins, if he continues on his current trajectory Wainwright will have a case for the Hall of Fame.

Wainwright was picked in the first round of the Year 2000 draft by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves traded him as a minor-leaguer in 2003 (with Ray King and Jason Marquis) to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. Wainwright made his debut on September 11, 2005. He is signed with the Cardinals though 2018 on a 5-year $97.5 million contract.

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