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St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to miss significant time after injury in World Baseball Classic

St. Louis Cardinals

Adam Wainwright was poised to make his seventh appearance as the St. Louis Cardinals’ Opening Day starter. Now, the 41-year-old will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after suffering an injury during the World Baseball Classic.

Wainwright, a three-time All-Star selection, was training with Team USA this week when he suffered a groin strain during a workout. Just hours before St. Louis was poised to announce him as its Opening Day 2023 starter, he landed on the injured list.

  • Adam Wainwright stats (2022): 3.71 ERA, 143/54 K/BB in 191.2 innings

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Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Cardinals’ manager Oliver Marmol said there is no clear timetable for when Wainwright will return to the starting rotation.

“I don’t have a real timetable yet, other than he strained his groin and we all have an idea of what typically means. We’ll continue to evaluate over the next few days, but no hard timetable at the moment. … There is a spot in the rotation now open, and we’re going to have to sit down and make sure that we’re not missing anything that goes into that.”

St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol on Adam Wainwright’s injury (H/T STLToday.com)

Over the past two seasons, Wainwright has been the epitome of durability. He started 32 games for St. Louis in 2021, covering 206.1 innings, then made 32 starts last season covering 191.2 innings. Unfortunately for the clubs, just a week before Opening Day, the ace suffered a groin injury in the closing days of the World Baseball Classic.

Wainwright will now miss several weeks in April, putting further strain on a starting rotation that already had concerns about durability issues. With Wainwright on the injured list, Jake Woodford is expected to move into the rotation as the No. 5 starter.

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St. Louis is far from the only MLB team now tasked with overcoming a major injury to a core player. Houston Astros star Jose Altuve is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb, New York Mets’ closer Edwin Díaz suffered a season-ending torn patellar tendon and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins tore his ACL on Thursday.

The Cardinals will slowly ease Wainwright back into action, not wanting to jeopardize a setback that could sideline their ace even longer. Considering his velocity was down before the injury and the need for him to get stretched out into a normal workload, Wainwright may not take the mound at Busch Stadium for at least a month.

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