I think we all knew this was coming. As members of the organization commented on Wainwright's injury in the past 24 hours, they have sounded increasingly negative. But now it is official. The elbow injury Adam Wainwright suffered yesterday will require season ending Tommy John Surgery.
This is a huge blow to the Cardinals who lose the ace of their staff. Chris Carpenter is a very good pitcher to step in and replace him, but it means every other member of the rotation has to pitch one spot ahead of where they are slated. It isnt just losing Wainwright, it makes every single spot in the Cardinals rotation slightly less effective. But SB Nation does remind us that the long term prognosis isn't terrible.
Just as with most pitchers whose next step is Tommy John surgery, Wainwright's long-term prognosis figures to be good. He's 29 years old, and the surgery has been successfully and routinely performed on young and old alike. It's possible, however, that this could cause more anxiety than usual amongst Cardinals faithful -- with fears that Albert Pujols could be headed out of St. Louis after the season, they certainly want 2011 to count, and the loss of the 2010 Cy Young runner-up is obviously a huge blow.
That shouldn't make you feel any better about the upcoming season, but Wainwright should be able to return to the Cardinals at some pointing the near future and could be just as effective as he was before he suffered the injury.