St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) By Charles Rex Arbogast
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright looks up at the scoreboard during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) By Charles Rex Arbogast
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and miss the entire season.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed the prognosis Thursday at the team's spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla. He said he learned of the news Wednesday night after the 29-year-old pitcher sought a second opinion in Los Angeles.
Wainwright felt stiffness in his arm after Monday's throwing session.
Wainwright won 20 games last year and was runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award. His loss leaves the team with a big hole in what looked to be a stable starting rotation.
"It's not a real surprise to us but certainly a disappointment," Mozeliak said. "As we look to the future now we certainly believe we still have a strong starting rotation. Now we're going to have to look to try to fill it in terms of a fifth spot."
Manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday, before learning the severity of the injury, that he doesn't expect the Cardinals to try to fill any void left by Wainwright through a trade or free agent signing.
"The answer is here," he said of a group that includes Lance Lynn, P. J. Walters, Ian Snell and reliever Kyle McClellan.
The rotation for now appears to be Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook. There are few pitchers available on the free-agent market, with Kevin Millwood probably the best known.
The 6-foot-7 Wainwright went 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA last season, finishing behind Philadelphia's Roy Halladay in Cy Young balloting while making his first All-Star team. His 2.93 ERA since 2007 trails only Halladay, and no NL pitcher threw more than Wainwright's 463 1-3 innings during the past two seasons.
In 2009, Wainwright led the NL in wins (19), innings (233) and starts (34), winning a Gold Glove while finishing third in Cy Young voting.
Wainwright felt soreness toward the end of last season and he didn't pitch in September. He had minor arm issues in 1998 and 2004.
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