Adam Wainwright threw from 120 feet yesterday

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Adam Wainwright’s comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery has progressed to the point that he made 50 throws from 120 feet yesterday, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Wainwright, who went under the knife in late February, is hoping to be cleared to throw off a mound at some point in September, saying: “I can see the light at the end of this.”

He won’t pitch in the majors this season, but Wainwright’s progress is very important because the Cardinals must decide whether to exercise their $9 million option on him for 2012 and their $13 million option for 2013.

If healthy he’s obviously worth that money and then some, but $22 million is an awfully big commitment to voluntarily make to a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery, even if it’s an elite pitcher. The assumption all season has been that the Cardinals would exercise Wainwright’s options as long as he avoided any serious setbacks.