As the Cardinals wrap up their series in Milwaukee, the site of Adam Wainwright’s Achilles’ tendon rupture, the decision on whether or not the Cardinals ace will return this season will be made on Monday. That is when Wainwright will meet with doctors to determine whether or not this season is realistic.
Wainwright is pitching in the bullpen and each time out his pitch count increases, but the question is whether or not Wainwright can get off the mound to cover a bunt or first base.
At this point, is Wainwright really needed?
Michael Wacha is the dominating ace of this staff. John Lackey is providing the veteran leadership and is more than serviceable. Jaime Garcia continues to impress as he won for the third time in his last four starts and improved to 6-1 in nine starts since Aug. 1, helping the Cardinals go 8-1 over that span. Lance Lynn, while losing his last two starts, has had a sub 3.00 ERA for most of the second half. The only concern is Carlos Martinez, who has trailed off in the second half. Would a fifth starter be needed? The Cardinals could get by with four starters.
The question that Mike Matheny would be faced with is whether or Wainwright is going to provide more consistency than Martinez as a starter or out of the bullen? We saw that experiment fail miserably at the end of the season with a returning Wacha and using him out of the ‘pen.
This club won, and won a lot of games without Wainwright. His role is not needed. There is not a sense of urgency to bring him back. Let him fully heal and be ready to go for 2017.