After a couple seasons to forget, 2019 could be a comeback of sorts for Adam Wainwright.
While some would say his best years are behind him, he wants to prove that he’s still got what it takes to be a starter for the Cardinals. In his first outing of the Spring a few days back, Waino threw two perfect innings, striking out one batter.
To me, that type of workload is probably the more ideal situation for Wainwright through the whole 2019 campaign as more of a setup man or middle reliever.
However, Mike Shildt said at the Winter Meetings that Wainwright was projected to be a starter out of camp. Tuesday’s outing reinforces that, but Wainwright’s health will go a long way when it comes to whether he’ll continue to be a starter long term.
The big debate for me comes from the team having pitchers that have experience as starters, just not much experience at the major-league level. Can Wainwright be effective on the mound, stay healthy (which are two things he has not excelled at in recent seasons), and overall be better than the other young arms gunning for his spot? I don’t know the answer to that, yet.
I want to see him be the Wainwright of old as much as the next person, but a healthy and above-average Wainwright would be a positive step in the right direction. Now whether that’s as part of the rotation or in the bullpen remains to be seen.
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