JUPITER, Fla. – Adam Wainwright suffers a setback in his sendoff season and will start the 2023 campaign on the injured list.
Wainwright is dealing with a groin strain and will spend time on the IL to recover from it, according to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold. The Cardinals have not yet officially announced a transaction for placing Wainwright on the IL.
The 41-year-old just returned from the World Baseball Classic, picking up two victories and posting a 2.25 ERA over eight innings of action. Marmol tells MLB.com’s John Denton that Waiwright reportedly strained his groin in a workout prior to the WBC championship game Tuesday.
As the Cardinals’ Team USA players returned to spring camp Thursday after the WBC, it seemed as if Wainwright could have been on schedule to start Friday or Saturday, thus regular rest for an Opening Day nod. That is no longer the case. Wainwright could miss “several weeks,” per Marmol, though his exact timetable for recovery is unclear.
This season will also mark Wainwright’s final as an MLB pitcher, which he reiterated several times throughout spring training. Wainwright, a 2006 World Series champion, is third in St. Louis Cardinals’ history with 195 wins, fourth in games started (386) and second in strikeouts (2,147) with a 3.38 career ERA.
In short-term, the Cardinals will need to replace Wainwright with another internal option. Relief pitcher Jake Woodford has gotten some extended looks starting games this season and could be a candidate for the fifth rotation spot to start this season. Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery and Steven Matz are also likely locks for the rotation if healthy come next week.