Cards' Wainwright injures elbow, surgery possible

Cards' Wainwright injures elbow, surgery possible
February 23, 2011, 3:24 pm
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Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011
Posted 9:17 a.m. Updated 10:33 a.m.

By David Kaplan
CSNChicago.com

Stunning news out of St. Louis today as Adam Wainwright, perhaps the Cardinals best starting pitcher has apparently suffered a significant elbow injury and appears headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Word of the injury spread rapidly through the Cubs clubhouse on Wednesday morning and the reaction was one of shock and concern for a fellow baseball player. I hope that its not true because I hate to see anyone deal with that. Lets hope for his sake that it is inflammation because it is a tough injury, said Cubs starter Ryan Dempster who experienced the same injury several years ago and returned to pitching a little more than a year after surgery.

Im not surprised that someone is dealing with that injury because every season it is the same story, said Kerry Wood. Wood of course, is very familiar with pitching injuries, having landed on the disabled several times and having Tommy John surgery in 1999. Adam better get ready for a really boring summer. It happens and I feel bad for him but as I said, he isnt the first and he certainly wont be the last. I wish him luck, Wood added.

New Cubs starter Matt Garza was saddened to hear about the injury because he likes to play and compete against the very best. I feel bad for him. Hes a fellow baseball player and we all are there for each other. You never want to hear about someone getting inured but its a part of the game.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak in an interview on KFNS Radio in St. Louis said today, this injury is like getting kicked in the gut. However, there is no self-pity. We still have to field a team and be ready to go on Opening Day.

Wainwright, who went 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA last season, is a combined 50-22 over the past three seasons with an ERA under 3.00 and is considered one of the top pitchers in baseball. His loss is a huge blow to a Cardinals team that had hoped to build around Wainwright and fellow starter Chris Carpenter who has also had his share of injury problems over the years and is considered somewhat fragile.

Add in the Albert Pujols contract distraction and you have a Cardinals team that right now is wishing they could start spring training over. However, after 102 years and counting without a World Series title Cubs fans arent feeling much sympathy.

David Kaplan is the host of Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet. Follow him on Twitter @thekapman.