Adam Wainwright elbow injury derails Cardinals season

Adam Wainwright will be out for the entire season. CC by bk1bennett/Flickr

Yahoo! Sports reports that St. Louis Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright won’t be winning any games in 2011. The right-hander will be out for all of 2011 and some of 2012 while rehabilitating from elbow surgery. Combined with the news that the team was unable to get star slugger Albert Pujols to sign an extension, 2011 could turn out to be a long season for the redbirds.

With Adam Wainwright down, St. Louis becomes a tough sell to Albert Pujols

The Adam Wainwright elbow injury, the St. Louis Cardinals confirmed, will require Tommy John Surgery, aka an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. It involves the replacement of the damaged elbow ligament with a tendon taken from either the forearm, hamstring, knee or foot. The reason it is often called “Tommy John” is because that was the name of the first person to get the surgery. Major League pitcher Tommy John got the surgery in 1974 when it was still experimental.

Adam Wainwright’s prognosis was confirmed Thursday at the St. Louis Cardinals’ training facility in Jupiter, Fla. The 29-year-old pitcher relies heavily upon the curveball, so full elbow ligament flexibility is essential. Pitchers Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook will be relied upon for the Cardinals 2011. It’s a tough spot to fill; Wainwright won 39 times in the past two seasons.

St. Louis might not make it past July

It is unlikely that Albert Pujols will re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals if a replacement for Adam Wainwright doesn’t show up for 2011. It will be hard for the Cardinals to replace Pujols mid-season because of no-trade provision in his contract. Without an adequate substitution for Wainwright, the best the Cardinals may be able to hope for is that Pujols will drop his no-trade clause so they can get something back from whichever team is willing to pay Pujols the $30 million a year, 10-year contract he wants.

Information from

Fox Sports

Wikipedia entry for Tommy John surgery

Yahoo! Sports