Cardinals’ Wainwright to begin season on injured list with groin strain

Jake Woodford is the likely replacement in the Cardinals’ starting rotation.
U.S. pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) attempts to throw out Cuba's Alfredo Despaigne at first...
U.S. pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) attempts to throw out Cuba's Alfredo Despaigne at first during the third inning of a World Baseball Classic game, Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Miami. Despaigne advanced from first to second on a throwing error by Wainwright. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)(Wilfredo Lee | AP)
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:05 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:30 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - It’s not the news that anyone wanted to hear just a week away from opening day, but it’s the news that so often seems to come for the Cardinals in spring training: An untimely injury in the starting rotation.

This time, it’s veteran starter Adam Wainwright. The 41-year-old pitcher, who has said 2023 will be his final go-around in MLB, suffered a groin strain this week that Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol says will keep him out a number of weeks.

Instead of getting the nod to start on opening day in his final season in St. Louis, Wainwright’s injury--suffered during a weight room workout ahead of the World Baseball Classic championship game--will force him onto the injured list to open the campaign.

According to reports from Jupiter, it appears likely that Jake Woodford will slide into Wainwright’s spot in the starting rotation. Even without the injury to Wainwright, Woodford had seemingly done enough this spring to break camp with St. Louis as a member of the bullpen.

The Wainwright void, though, creates an additional opportunity for Woodford, whose 2.04 ERA and 18 strikeouts across 17.2 innings of Grapefruit League play have impressed team brass throughout camp.

Marmol also reportedly shared with media in Jupiter Thursday morning that reliever Wilking Rodriguez will begin the year on the injured list with shoulder tightness.

Selected by the Cardinals in the Rule 5 Draft, Rodriguez was on the roster bubble with the crux of the issue being that his exclusion from the 26-man roster would have opened him up to being returned to the Yankees through the Rule 5 process. Now, though, Rodriguez will remain with the St. Louis organization while working through his injury status.