Since tearing his Achilles on April 25th, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright finally received the news he was waiting for today.
“(He) saw the doctor today and was given clearance on baseball activity and so we’ll push him forward and hopefully by the weekend, he’s throwing a sim game–assuming everything goes well this week,” shared General Manager John Mozeliak. “I think it’s bullpen strictly, there’s no chance that we can get him to start given the time.”
“Good news, good news now we’re just going to amp up our baseball activities this week and get ready for hitters over the weekend and see where that leads,” agreed Wainwright, who would have no problem pitching in relief. “I haven’t been in the bullpen in a while so it’ll be fun. I’d love it.”
Almost since the day he was injured, Wainwright has been confident that he would find his way back to the mound this season.
“I tried not to just blow smoke up everybody’s tails,” he smiled, later noting the difference than the proverbial carrot he kept in front of himself to come back the same season from Tommy John surgery. “It was totally different–it wasn’t an arm injury. I could’ve pitched in that postseason with fastball/changeup. Not really my strength–but I could’ve. The difference is my arm felt great this whole process. The question was could I get my legs back to where they need to be and now we’re really close to that. Although I was saying that with a hint of belief with Tommy John, I 100% fully believed that this entire process.”
Wainwright will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, where he expects to try breaking off the mound as he prepares for more of those types of situations for the simulated game this weekend.
“Now I’m doing everything at intense level and different activities where everything before was more controlled,” he explained.
“Game situation, I’m trying to get outs so whoever I’m facing, I’m going to knock him in the dirt–I’m just kidding. I’m going to try and get them out. I’m going to pitch just like in a regular game.”
How long he will need to fully ramp up before he’s ready for an actual appearance in a game could then be just around the corner.
“I’m pretty close now,” shared Wainwright. “I don’t expect that to be a hurdle at all because I’ve been throwing for so long. I was backing up farther than I’ve ever long tossed and letting it eat for weeks and weeks and weeks until I got on the mound finally. I’ve sort of already had my five Spring Training appearances down there, so we’ll see.”
“First things first, I have to go out there and throw to hitters on the weekend. First things first before that even, I have to continue to gain strength, and quickness, and agility.”