Cardinals opening day starter Adam Wainwright will instead begin year on injured list
Published in Baseball
JUPITER, Fla. — A few hours before being named officially as the Cardinals' opening day starter for his final season in the majors, Adam Wainwright instead will be placed on the injured list with a groin strain sustained during the World Baseball Classic.
Wainwright and right-handed reliever Wilking Rodriguez will open the season on the IL and miss the next several weeks, manager Oliver Marmol announced Thursday morning.
Wainwright will halt his throwing program and delay his season debut by as much as a month as he likely needs to work through a rehab assignment to build arm strength and stamina once the groin injury subsides. He had scans taken of the groin Wednesday afternoon to determine the extent of damage.
“I don’t have a real timetable yet, other than he strained his groin and we all have an idea of what typically means," Marmol told reporters in the dugout at Roger Dean Stadium. "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."
Marmol confirmed Wainwright was going to be named the Cardinals' opening day starter for next Thursday at Busch Stadium against Toronto.
Wainwright, 41, has said this will be his final season before retiring.
The Cardinals have not finalized who will replace Wainwright in the rotation. Jake Woodford is the most likely candidate after an assertive spring training that won him a spot on the opening day roster and displayed all of the improvements the Cardinals asked from him during the offseason.
That would ease the Cardinals' decisions in the bullpen, too.
Wainwright injured his groin while working out in the weight room at loanDepot Park in Miami on Tuesday a few hours before he and Team USA faced Japan in the World Baseball Classic championship game.
He threw a bullpen session there that day and told a Post-Dispatch reporter that it was the "most important bullpen of the season." He says that before every bullpen session. The injury came later, apparently, though it was not clear the severity of it until Wainwright was evaluated by Cardinals trainers late Wednesday and again Thursday.
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