Adam Wainwright sharp in return from Tommy John surgery

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Making his spring debut after missing all of 2011, Adam Wainwright pitched two hitless innings against the Twins on Friday.

Wainwright was consistently in the low-90s in the outing, showing the same velocity he did prior to his Tommy John surgery last spring. He wasn’t perfect with his command, throwing 14 of his 30 pitches for balls, but he didn’t need to be against a Twins offense that also missed 2011 and still appears absent now.

The Cardinals have already announced that Wainwright’s next start has been moved up, as he’ll pitch on three days’ rest instead of the usual four. It sounds as if the ailing Chris Carpenter will be backed off his scheduled Opening Day assignment, leaving Wainwright and Jaime Garcia as the first two starters in the rotation.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.