Speaking before he signed autographs at the Winter Warm-Up on Sunday, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright shared his “masculinity took a hit at the end of the year”–a statement Matt Holliday heartily agreed with a “yeah it did” from peanut gallery.
After the heckling and laughter subsided, Wainwright was finally able to talk about why his wife needed to assist him in opening jars and all the little injuries from the 2014 season which led to the offseason surgery to clean up the elbow in his now “bionic” right arm.
The hyper-extended knee led to a tweak in his forearm which led to the bone bruise in the back of his arm which then led to more compensation and the needing of help from his wife at the end of the season.
“I was holding a Sprite can on the plane and I went to open it and I had to kind of grab it sideways–I couldn’t even support the weight of a Sprite can. Occasionally it would get hot like that and just kind of turn off.”
As one would expect, that resulted in a “tremendous” impact on Wainwright gripping and throwing the baseball.
“At the end of the year, the full extension was the problem. You saw me throwing a lot of cutters, a lot of curveballs because I could get my arm to go this way fine I just couldn’t get it to pronate all the way through. That’s okay, because I’m not really a power pitcher and so I was able to get by with that.”
But he also acknowledged that he lost the ability to sink an inside pitch to right-handed batters, which affected how he was able to then use the outside of the plate.
Wainwright credited the training staff with getting him ready for his September starts–which resulted in him going 5-0.
“There was no time for me to take off, we needed to get to the postseason. Not saying that somebody else couldn’t have done that, but I just knew I could.”
The good days and bad days continued to come and go through the playoffs said Wainwright, who admitted to having a particularly rough game against Los Angeles.
“When I hit Yasiel Puig in the playoffs, I knew it was the right pitch, I just couldn’t execute it,” he said. “To Adrian Gonzalez’ point, I don’t normally hit people like that but I’m not normally hurt either.”
The elbow is now feeling fine–with Wainwright sharing that he is on schedule and began throwing this year the same date he did last year.
WAINWRIGHT EXPLAINS DOCTOR CHOICE
–Sensitive to how it may have appeared, Adam Wainwright also addressed his decision to have Dr. George Paletta–the former team doctor, examine his elbow after the Cardinals medical staff provided the first opinion.
Noting that Paletta was familiar with his elbow from the Tommy John surgery, Wainwright complimented the current staff and stated all were on the same page–there was no division or pitting of one side versus the other.