April 13, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) hits a two run triple in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Skip schumaker wishes his uniform got this dirty. Chicago defeated St. Louis 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Yesterday's home opener was a disappointing game from all sorts of angles. The game had to be worked in after a lengthy delay. Today looks to be little different, so the early start time may be a futile hope.
I am not terribly concerned about adam's poor start yesterday. Regaining some velocity may just be a function of time. And poor control may be as much a function of rainy April weather as anything else.
And that matter of time may not be a short time. After Josh Johnson's tj surgery, his velocity crept back slowly.
The bad news is Johnson didn't really get his velocity up to its potential in his 14 starts in 2008. Only in 2009 did his velocity manifest. The good news is that working at a slightly reduced velocity did not hamper Johnson much at all - he had a 3.37 FIP in his partial season in 2008, and a 3.06 FIP in 2009 when his velocity returned. Wainwright is not a power pitcher. Of course, Johnson's velocity increased over his career - he had not been a 95 mph pitcher prior to 2009, so perhaps the analogy is not apt.
A more veteran name, jake westbrook took 5 starts to gain a few miles per hour following his surgery.
Yes, you are reading the graph right. It is possible for Westbrook to develop worse velocity than his standard fare. Of course, his 2011 graph show a very similar dip to his post-surgery 2010 in his first few starts, so it may just be an April thing.
At any rate, it is far too soon to fret about wainwright's long-term recovery. Depending on how you look at it, this is either the best possible time to offer an extension or the worst.
*the proper capitalization in this post is brought to you by the iPhone on which it was typed. Read nothing more into that.