Yesterday, St. Louis Cardinals Ace, Adam Wainwright, was flown back to St. Louis to examine a “significant injury” to his elbow. The rhetoric of the coaches and management was gloomy at best. After seeking a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum today, their fears came to fruition. Derrick Goold has confirmed (via Twitter) that Adam Wainwright will need Tommy John Surgery, and he is done for the season.
This news puts a serious damper on their plans for 2011. They looked to be equally good on paper as the division rival Reds and Brewers, but they also had a tremendously generous interleague schedule. While the Brewers are slated to play the Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays, the Cardinals will get the Royals, Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays. All four of those Brewer opponents have made the playoffs in the last two seasons. The Rays are the only one of those Cardinal opponents to make the postseason since Cal Ripken’s Orioles in 1997.
Tony LaRussa has said that the replacement will come from within the organization, and it looks like Kyle McLellan and Ian Snell will be top candidates. Either way, Dave Duncan is going to have to work quite a bit more of his magic in order to keep this team relevant in 2011.
The NL Central has just become a 2 team race between Cincinnati and Milwaukee. The Cards have just fallen to 3rd place, and possibly even 4th behind Chicago.