ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Adam Wainwright, after beginning the season on the disabled list, will take the mound for the Cardinals’ home opener after all.
The 36-year-old is on the final year of his contract, and with an uncertain future, could be facing the last such occasion.
To make room for Wainwright’s return, the team optioned 22-year-old Jack Flaherty to Triple-A Memphis. Flaherty, whose despite a sensational spring (24 strikeouts in 15 innings with a sub- 1.0 WHIP) began the season at Triple-A so he could get everyday starting work, recently carved up the Brewers in his spot start.
Called up in Wainwright’s stead (the veteran was injured just before the season began), Flaherty went five innings and allowed one run while striking out nine in Milwaukee. The move to demote him may have surprised fans, but the plan was never to have Flaherty at the major league level for an a extended run unless he was starting.
There currently isn’t an available spot in the rotation, so the team feels the best move is to give him regular starter’s work in Triple-A.
Wainwright, after a second consecutive down season, rebounded this spring to post a sterling 10.2 innings in Grapefruit League play. He was originally scheduled to throw in New York, but will now open his season at Busch. Michael Wacha, who was penciled in to start Thursday, will move to Saturday, giving him a week between starts.