Cardinals get rough news on Adam Wainwright fresh off the WBC

Adam Wainwright was one of the few American pitchers with a Hall-of-Fame resume willing to pitch in the WBC. Now, he’s headed to the Cardinals injured list.

Adam Wainwright pitched four innings for the Americans in their semifinal win over Cuba just a few days ago, but upon his arrival to spring camp, will be placed on the Cardinals injured list.

St. Louis lacks starting pitching once again this season. With Wainwright on the mend, they’ll rely on an unfamiliar name to Cards fans — Jake Woodford. Woodford is expected to step into the starting rotation for the next few weeks with Wainwright out.

Oli Marmol wouldn’t give a specific timeframe for Wainwright’s injury, simply saying it could be ‘several weeks’, which doesn’t sound promising from a St. Louis fan perspective.

Adam Wainwright injury update: What happened to Cardinals pitcher?

Wainwright will start the year on the IL with a groin strain. How he injured his groin is beyond our understanding, as he pitched just a few days ago in the World Baseball Classic.

MLB Trade Rumors offered an excellent summary of Woodford’s — Wainwright’s replacement — career.

“The 26-year-old Woodford has seen action with the Cards in each of the past three seasons, starting a total of 10 games in addition to another 55 relief appearances. He’s recorded a 3.61 ERA in that time, including a 2.23 mark in 48 1/3 innings just last season. Woodford carries one of the game’s lowest strikeout rates (15.9% career, 12.8% in 2022) but also possesses well above-average command, highlighted by last year’s 5.9% walk rate. In 2022, he used both his sinker and slider at career-high levels, and the resulting 52% ground-ball rate played right into one of the Cardinals’ greatest team strengths: infield defense. He’ll look for a similar outcome in 2023.”

When Wainwright does come back, expect Marmol to have him on a pitch limit. At his advanced age. St. Louis will want Wainwright healthy for the postseason. An early injury isn’t a good sign.