Here’s what I said a couple weeks ago about Adam Wainwright:
Adam Wainwright is arguably the best non-Bob Gibson pitcher in St. Louis Cardinals history. Although he will probably fall a bit short of being enshrined in Cooperstown, he is a shoo-in for induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. He has been a World Series-winning closer, a four-time Cy Young Award finalist...he’s great. He’s fantastic. He’s wonderful. I will fight anyone who does not want Adam Wainwright to succeed.
But will Adam Wainwright revert back, if not to peak form, at least to competence? 2017 was a bit of a down season for the former ace—not counting his two innings in 2005, 2017 was Wainwright’s worst season by both ERA and FIP. His ERA of 5.11 was downright ugly while his FIP of 4.29 was...not great, but decidedly less disastrous than his ERA suggested. But with 7.01 strikeouts per nine innings in the Golden Age of the Strikeout, Wainwright, never known for being an overpowering pitcher per se, has been less dominant than normal. And coming back from injury late last season, his velocity was down.
However, he’s also Adam Wainwright. After 2012, when he was good-not-great coming off a season missed due to Tommy John Surgery, did you think he was going to become a Cy Young finalist the next two seasons? Maybe you did; I didn’t. I’ve learned better than to write him off with any level of certainty.
Here is what the VEB readership had to say about Adam Wainwright’s 2018.