Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright will open the season on the injured list due to a groin strain, manager Oli Marmol announced to the team’s beat this morning (Twitter link via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Wainwright was healthy enough to toss four innings of one-run ball for Team USA in its semi-final victory over Cuba in the World Baseball Classic earlier this week, but he suffered this new injury in the weight room two days later. Rule 5 pick Wilking Rodriguez will also open the year on the injured list due to tightness in his right shoulder, tweets Ben Frederickson of the Post-Dispatch.
There’s no precise timeline for Wainwright, though Marmol indicated that the right-hander is likely to miss “several weeks,” John Denton of MLB.com tweets. Wainwright has pitched seven innings thus far in Grapefruit League play and tossed another eight frames in the WBC. Were it not for this weight room incident, Wainwright would’ve had time to get in another Grapefruit League outing, and he was then expected to serve as the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter in what will be the final season of his Major League career.
With Wainwright out for the next few weeks, right-hander Jake Woodford is expected to step into the rotation alongside Jordan Montgomery, Miles Mikolas, Steven Matz and Jack Flaherty. Woodford was likely ticketed for a long-relief role to begin the season and is plenty stretched out already, having pitched 17 2/3 innings over five appearances this spring. He’s posted a terrific 2.04 ERA with an 18-to-5 K/BB ratio in that time.
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.
As for the 33-year-old Rodriguez, he’s something of a remarkable story. It’s been eight years since he last pitched in affiliated ball with the Yankees and nine year since his lone MLB cup of coffee with the Royals. The right-hander has been pitching regularly in the Venezuelan Winter League and, more recently, in the Mexican League. Over his past two seasons in Mexico, he’s tossed 73 innings of 2.71 ERA ball with gaudy strikeout totals, including a 2.01 ERA and 43.2% strikeout rate in 44 2/3 innings in 2022. The Yankees signed him to a minor league deal in August, but due to his prior minor league service from 2007-15 (with the Rays, Reds, Royals and Yankees), he was Rule 5-eligible and selected by the Cardinals.
Rodriguez will need to last the entire season on the Cardinals’ roster or injured list or else be placed on waivers and (if he clears) offered back to the Yankees. He’ll need at least 90 days on the active roster, as well, or else his Rule 5 status will roll over into the 2024 campaign and remain intact until he reaches that (cumulative) 90-day mark on the active roster.
For Love of the Game
What a crappy way to start off the last year of an outstanding career. Get well, Waino!
that’s a bummer especially since he is going to miss opening day, which in stl is a holiday anyhow hope he gets well soon.
Cards starting pitchers, are about the 4th best – – in the NL Central.
While it’s disappointing for Wainwright maybe this will spell a healthy stretch run?
Hopefully Woodford takes this opportunity and runs with it, there’s was much chatter about him getting the wheel last year when he was shuttled back and forith between memphis and the major league club? I hope he takes it and runs with it.
Well this is less than ideal. Does Liberatore or Hudson get the first crack?
Correction, looks like Woodford is the man.
i would say hudson only because he has mlb experience and personally i want to see what he can do a year removed from tjs
Woodford. Hudson might actually make the opening day roster now…that’s not good.
i was thinking woodford but what i kept hearing on the radio it sounded like they wanted him in the pen. then again this was before wanio got hurt, either way this sucks but this is the perfect time for one of the kids to step up and take a spot
They are gonna have to see what these youngsters have or have left real soon. I would like to see Woodford get the first bid myself. Hudson can take his sinker into the pen and maybe be that guy that bails another guy out with a double play.
Woodford should be the next man up…
Agreed. Let’s see what he has got. At this point in time I think he has the highest upside for this year.
As the article says, Woodford carries one of the game’s lowest strikeout rates. But it’s not nearly as low as Dakota Hudson’s.
i heard earlier today on 101.1 espn that woodford is going to be the 5th guy till wanio comes back. when i made my earlier comment was before i listened in a bit this am
from last year and then this Spring training Woodford has pitched well and he should be given a shot…I love waino but he should have retired with Molina and Pujols…Woodford makes the rotation better imo
i agree with on woodford and i hope for his and the cards sake he takes the job and runs with it and makes wanio coming back a tough decision.
Would never have happened if he stayed away from the weight room. MLB teams should get rid of weight rooms.
Is that right? Professional athletes shouldn’t have weight rooms?
(I mean, he never would’ve gotten hurt if he was sitting next to you on the couch watching the real pros play, so maybe you’ve got a point)
I guess someone hasn’t been following the WBC injury hysteria.
Thoughts and prayers to @Cardsfan21..
Thoughts and prayers to anyone adorable enough to think that athletes are ever going to be able to stay completely healthy while competing at elite levels.
And Diaz got hurt celebrating. Eliminating those next, I’m assuming?
@cf22 i thought getting rid of celebrations was given just mlb won’t put the rule in place until the as break.
Sorry, I should have given more context. I shouldn’t assume everyone is following the hysteria of WBC injuries. And yes, I made a joke about banning celebrations in one of those threads.
I rarely do this, but hat tip to you. Given the context, that was funny and ironically, a post that I would’ve made. Well played and my bad
@cardsfan21 i’m pretty sure he was being sarcastic plus we all know this was a wbc injury that is being covered up by the lizard people and mlb
Damn, in that case, it’s pretty funny. Hard to tell with some of the absolutely ridiculous comments I see in this forum.
@cf22 i gotcha it is hard sometimes to tell the sarcasm and the idiocy.
Yeah, because Missouri is the bastion of intelligence. Aren’t you guys in the middle of a book banning these days?
Shouldn’t you be with your kids at the neighborhood drag show?
I forgot the “bastion of intelligence” that was The Jersey Shore.
It is, compared to the land of Dogpatch, Lil’ Abner.
also we need to get rid of the wood bat and hard ball and replace them with foam ones to cut down on injuries and the players must wear riot gear while on the field and dugout
I hate that he misses his Opening Day start, but it really might work out in the long run. I didn’t expect to get 30 starts from Waino this year. He can get healthy, tune up, and come back when the weather is getting warmer. We have enough depth to get by for a couple of months.
Maybe no end of season burn out now!
I agree. I wouldn’t be surprised if they really space out his starts this season.
I doubt he’ll take advantage of his last season like Yadi – a mid-season, month-long vacation to get healthy and watch basketball – but he’ll probably make a few IL trips to lessen his workload.
Jake Woodford, time to shine! Let’s find out if you are a younger version of a control specialist like Kyle Hendrix, or if you are just a guy (ala PJ Walters).
I know he’s a Cardinal icon and I’m wishing him luck but realistically, the next man up will be an upgrade..He can still do his Waino thing in the dugout but this could be a blessing in disguise.
An already weak Cardinal starting rotation gets even weaker.
I’m not so sure Woodford is a step down from Wainwright at this point. I do wish Wainwright a speedy recovery. I’d like to see his last year go well. Maybe he can find some of his lost velocity while he’s on the IL.
Having one less option for starting pitcher doesn’t weaken the rotation?
You can have a boat load of ‘options’, but how many Good options, is what counts.
Pitching depth isn’t a problem for the Cardinals. It’s the quality of the back of the rotation and the quality of the depth available. There’s not much difference in the last 4 or 5 of their 8 available starters. Counting Pallante, they have 9 available starters.
There’s not much difference between any of the starting pitchers. Maybe Flaherty, if he can stay healthy. Otherwise, it’s nothing but a bunch of 4 or 5 starters.
Better hope Goldy has an even better year so you win a bunch of 10-9 games.
It’s a rotation full of 2-3 starters. Projections bear that out.
Anyone that think Mikolas, Montgomery, Matz, VerHagen or Woodford is a 2-3 starter has home fan delusion.
Most people do believe Montgomery is a 3. Just saw a fantasy tier list that had him a solid 2, which might be a little hopeful but we’ll see. Everyone else your argument is a fair point. Mikolas is probably a 3 but on some teams would be 4-5 so I at least understand the hate.
Good thing the central sucks.
Adrian Houser is the number 6 starter for the Brewers and has been moved to the bullpen. He’s better than anyone the Cardinals will roll out there, including Wainwright. Except for the 8 games Flaherty starts before getting injured.
Gonna be lots of 10-9 games in St Louie.
I don’t know why you’re saying, “including Wainwright”, like we would think he is some exception to our starter issue. He probably should be our 6 tbh lol.
10-9 games sound exciting my friend. Wins are wins.
Gonna lose a bunch of those 10-9 games, my friend. Losses are losses.
The only pitchers on the Brewers who outperformed Mikolas and Montgomery last year were Burnes and Woodruff. You’re just making things up and hoping they come true.
If you feel confident in that starting rotation, bully for you. But anyone with any sense looks at it and says “that team ain’t winning nothing.”
Hoping it’s true doesn’t make it true. I’m not sure you’re a good judge of sense after saying Houser is better than any St Louis starter.
“Hoping it’s true doesn’t make it true.” Make sure you tell yourself that whenever you think the Cardinals have any sort of decent pitching.
our pitching will be just fine unlike your offense, at least the cards can score 10 runs only chance you got to score 10 is when you play the a’s
Keep wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, Dusty.
Would love to hear Yadi Molina’s thoughts on this.
Good thing the Cardinals didn’t make a move on Trevor Bauer.
@paulk-2 even if trevor didn’t have is nightmare pr issues and off field issues, cards still wouldn’t pick him up because of his attitude, trevor might be good at what he does but apparently not easy to get along with and he seems to be out for himself. the cards generally go after guys that are team first players with good attitudes.
Was Wainwright on track to be the redbirds #1 starter? Or was he simply going to be the opening day starter for nostalgia reasons?
wanio was set to be the number 5 guy 3 at best, he was just getting the nod for opening day out of respect for what he has done for the team which as a cards fan i’m ok with he definitely earned it