The Cardinals are placing right-hander Adam Wainwright on the COVID-19 injured list, Katie Woo of The Athletic tweets. The team’s shelving Wainwright as a precautionary move after one of his family members tested positive for the virus, per Woo. In other moves, the Cardinals have activated outfielder Harrison Bader, placed left-hander Andrew Miller on the 10-day IL with a right foot blister, and recalled righty Kodi Whitley, according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat.
Wainwright will miss his scheduled start Sunday in Pittsburgh as a result of this IL placement. However, the Cardinals are hopeful the 39-year-old will take the ball against the Mets on Monday.
Wainwright, a career-long Cardinal whom they re-signed to a one-year, $8MM guarantee in free agency, has given the club quality production yet again this season. While Wainwright didn’t come out of the gate particularly well, he has turned it around over his two most recent starts, including a complete game, two-run effort against the Phillies on Monday. Through five starts and 28 2/3 innings, Wainwright has put up a 4.08 ERA (with a far better 3.28 SIERA) and logged above-average strikeout and walk percentages of 26.4 and 5.0, respectively.
Bader is finally set to make his 2021 debut after missing the first several weeks of the season with a forearm injury. He earned the lion’s share of starts for the Cardinals in center last year and batted .226/.336/.443 with four homers 125 plate appearances. Dylan Carlson has handled the position this season, but he’s capable of lining up at both corner outfield spots. Carlson has gotten off to an excellent start, while utilityman Tommy Edman and Tyler O’Neill have put up decent production in the Cards’ outfield, and Justin Williams has struggled mightily.
Miller, once an elite reliever, has seen his career take a negative turn since he signed a two-year, $25MM guarantee with the Cardinals heading into 2019. Miller’s earning $12MM this year on a club option that vested, but his performance hasn’t matched his salary. He yielded two earned runs on two hits in a third of an inning in a win over the Phillies on Thursday, thereby raising his ERA to 8.59 over 7 1/3 innings. Miller has given up 12 hits, including two homers, and walked four in the early going.