Update: April 26, 2015 10:00 am PT
The team has officially confirmed that Adam Wainwright‘s ankle injury IS, in fact, his Achilles tendon and he will be placed on the disabled list. Expectations for the remainder of the season are not good according to FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal.
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
Original Text: April 26, 2015 5:00 am PT
Could Adam Wainwright’s ankle injury end his season?
St. Louis Cardinals‘ ace Adam Wainwright was forced to leave the game during the fifth inning on Saturday.
On the one hand it was the top of the fifth inning and the Cardinals were in Milwaukee so Wainwright was in the batter’s box, meaning that this it isn’t a shoulder or elbow injury.
Still it is an injury that could jeopardize Wainwright’s season. When Wainwright popped up to first baseman Adam Lind and began to leave the batter’s box something went wrong, something happened to his left ankle. As of this moment his status and diagnosis are unknown.
He will be sent back to St. Louis immediately to be checked out by the team doctors and specialists. He’ll undergo an MRI before a diagnosis on the ankle is made.
Regardless of what the doctors say it still appears that Wainwright is headed for the disabled list. That is the best case scenario.
Wainwright isn’t bracing for the worst, however, which would be that he has hurt his Achilles tendon. An Achilles injury would more than likely render him done for the season.
Being optimistic about his upcoming diagnosis, even though the signs are pointing to an Achilles injury being that the worst pain happens to be on the back of his ankle, Wainwright said,
“What I’ve been told is don’t even think anything until the doctor tells you what it is. I’ve not gotten my hopes up or down. I’m just going to try to be a positive influence here today and tomorrow and see what happens. … Everything right now is just speculation.”
Of course losing your ace is a huge blow to any team but especially so for the Cardinals, as they currently have the lowest ERA of any starting rotation in baseball. Adam Wainwright is the biggest part of the reason for that.
Since it appears that Wainwright will be out for a while regardless of the outcome of the MRI, what are the Cardinals options?
They have a few options at Triple-A but in an untimely coincidence their number one choice to replace a member of their starting rotation, Marco Gonzales, has been suffering from shoulder tightness and was recently place on the minor league disabled list.
Starter Jaime Garcia who had season ending surgery to correct his thoracic outlet syndrome last July may be far enough along in his recovery to become a factor in replacing Wainwright, but it still may be a little too soon to bring back the oft-injured lefty.
Garcia, who had has multiple shoulder issues and surgeries over the last couple of years, was publicly criticized by Cardinals’ general manager John Mozeliak for the way he waited to inform the team of his problem last season. He started the season on the disabled list and was placed back on it by June 20, eventually undergoing surgery again in July. He may need more time to rehab prior to returning to the rotation.