"And Wainwright is limping," Fox Sports Midwest Dan McLaughlin said with a reserved exclamation broadcasters deploy when players, especially stars, might be injured. The camera honed in on St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright as he struggled to cross the infield from the first-base path to the visitors' dugout at Miller Park. Wainwright could barely put weight on his left foot. Manager Mike Matheny and the trainer met Wainwright in the middle of the infield.
The play was an awkward one. You can watch it here:
It resembles what are often described as "non-contact" injuries in football, when a player goes down on his own while performing an athletic move—not due to a tackle or a block. With Wainwright, there was no slide, awkward step on a base, or anything like that. Just his feet and legs trying to jumpstart him to run out an infield popup.
According to FOX's Ken Rosenthal, the awkward play may have ended Wainwright's season:
Sources: Expectation is that #STLCards’ Wainwright is done for season with Achilles injury. Has not yet undergone MRI.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 26, 2015
Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest was able to confirm that Wainwright has suffered an Achilles injury but not the extent of the damage:
Cards confirm Waino dealing with an Achilles injury, full extent won't be known until tomorrow when he's re-evaluated in STL. #STLCards— Jim Hayes (@TheCatOnFox) April 26, 2015
General manager John Mozeliak was a guest on KMOX Sunday morning:
Mozeliak: I would imagine that with this injury he will not pitch again this season, but we want to wait for the reports Monday. #STLCards— KMOXSports (@KMOXSports) April 26, 2015
In a move that is as much about Yadier Molina's near-term health as the starting rotation's, Hayes tweets that the Cardinals have placed Wainwright on the 15-day disabled list and promoting catcher Cody Stanley to the St. Louis active roster.
Who might take Wainwright's spot in the rotation? There are three options presently on the 40-man roster.
- Carlos Villanueva is currently a member of an eight-man bullpen with the Cardinals and may represent a stopgap of least resistance.
- Southpaw Marco Gonzales is currently on the minor-league seven-day DL with left shoulder tightness. If Gonzales is physically fit, the Cardinals could in theory activate him and promote him to take the ball the next time Wainwright's turn in the rotation comes up. For now Gonzales is in green on the roster matrix even though he isn't on the major-league DL.
- For what it's worth, lefty Tyler Lyons has posted a 4.61 ERA and 3.90 FIP in 13 2/3 innings over three Triple-A starts.
Here's the updated 40-man roster matrix: