Adam Wainwright scheduled for Tommy John surgery Monday

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There’s no official announcement yet from the Cardinals on when Adam Wainwright will have Tommy John elbow surgery, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll go under the knife Monday.

Some pitchers come back from Tommy John surgery in 10 months, some pitchers need two years, and some are never the same, but for the most part the expected recovery timetable is right around 12 months.

For instance Joe Nathan, who had the surgery during spring training last year, is now throwing without any restrictions in Twins camp and seems confident about being 100 percent ready for Opening Day. Wainwright is actually about three weeks ahead of Nathan in terms of when the surgery takes place, although that isn’t a significant difference in a year-long process.

As for Wainwright’s unique contract situation, because the Cardinals’ ability to void his 2012 and 2013 options is based on Wainwright being on the disabled list when the season ends we likely won’t know the outcome until October unless the two sides agree to a new multi-year deal that wipes away the old pact.

Orioles designate Pedro Alvarez for assignment

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The Baltimore Orioles are terrible and going nowhere fast, so they decided to do some shuffling of the decks today.

One part of that was to called up catcher Caleb Joseph, which was the corresponding move to sending down Chance Sisco the other day. Joseph will now be big league teammates with brother Corban. Aww.

Another thing they did was to purchase the contract of Steve Wilkerson from Triple-A Norfolk. He’s a utility guy who has been swinging a hot bat after getting a late start to the season due to a 50-game drug suspension. Good for him, but that’s bad news for Pedro Alvarez, who was designated for assignment in the corresponding move.

Alvarez, 31, started the season well but has been atrocious for most of it. His line on the year is .180/.283/.414 with eight homers, but he’s been far worse than that for over a month. The 2013 NL home run champ will now go through waivers and, at the end of that process, likely have to choose between free agency or a trip to Norfolk. And, given that it’s the worst team in baseball sending him packing, there’s a good chance that it could be the end of the big league road for him.