Last year Adam Wainwright had ERAs below 3.00 in April, May and August. He was sensational for that part of the year in which he was healthy. His only bad month – in June his ERA in 2 starts was 4.85 – was the one in which he was injured. He didn’t pitch between June 7 and August 22. His last start before being injured was the team’s 64th game. Following that win, the team was 37-27 – in 2nd place – 2.5 games behind the Cubs. When Wainwright was recalled to pitch in late August, the team was 72-58 and the team was in 3rd place, 7.5 games behind the Cubs and 2.5 games behind the Brewers. Still, it doesn’t appear as though the team missed Wainwright all that much in ’08.
Though the team lost ground to both the Cubs and the Brewers in Wainwright’s absence, the team actually played pretty well. The team’s hitting was almost exactly the same while Wainwright was on the DL and Lohse and Wellemeyer actually pitched worse w/ Wainwright hurt. So who stepped up during his stint on the DL? None other than Braden Looper.
That the Cards fell out of the race – or close to it – w/ Wainwright on the DL last year says more about how the Cubs and Brewers played than how the Cards played. Nevertheless, there’s little doubt that the wagonmaker is a vital cog in the machine we call the ’09 Cards.
There’s also little doubt that Wainwright has all the makings of becoming one of the best pitchers in the National League. He’s got a 4 pitch arsenal, a good sinker, and a slider and curve ball that can be deadly. Just ask Carlos Beltran or Brandon Inge. In 2007, when he threw 202 IP, he finished 12th in the NL in FIP, just above the $60 M man – Derek Lowe. The 70 innings the team lost last year could have really helped the team and it’s going to take Wainwright being healthy all year long in ’09 for the team to have a chance to compete in the Central.
Here are Wainwright’s numbers for the last 2 years.
So what are you expecting from Wainwright next season? (You know what’s coming next!) I need it in comma-delimited fashion – GS,IP,W,L,HR,BB,K,ERA,WHIP
As always, no cheating. Feel free to look at Wainwright’s total stat package from b-r but please don’t look at any other projections for him. I’ll be back on Saturday morning w/ the results.