It’s a near certainty at this point that Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is going to require Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his injured right elbow, but an official decision might not come for at least another 24 hours.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wainwright has requested that MRI results taken Wednesday in St. Louis be shipped out to Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a second opinion. Yocum will review those results on Thursday and then recommend a course of action.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday evening that his initial read on Wainwright’s injury has not changed. Mozeliak was the first to break the news to the media on Wednesday morning and also the first to mention the words “Tommy John.”
“Ninety-nine times out of 100 a player would seek a second opinion on this,” Mozeliak said Wednesday night. “At this point, Adam would like to seek a second opinion, so before we make any conclusions on what was found we’re going to do that at this time.”
Wainwright finished second in last year’s National League Cy Young Award vote after posting a 20-11 record, 2.42 ERA and 213 strikeouts across 230.1 innings. He meant 6.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to the Cardinals and will be sorely missed no matter who steps in to take his place.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.