Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright struggled in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night against the Giants, allowing three runs — two earned — on six hits and three walks while failing to make it out of the top of the fifth. He has now surrendered nine runs — eight earned — on 17 hits in nine innings this postseason, and it’s quite obvious that the heavily-used 33-year-old right-hander is not close to 100 percent health.
Cards manager Mike Matheny acknowledged after Wainwright’s rough NLDS Game 1 outing against the Dodgers that Wainwright had been experiencing some discomfort near the back of his right elbow, but Saturday’s ineffectiveness against the Giants was blamed on a mechanical issue.
More from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch …
After Saturday’s game, he retired to the video room with catcher A.J. Pierzynski to find that his hand position was off and his stride was late, causing his arm to drag behind. His fastball meandered as a result.
“I would have got a lot more out of what I could have got if I was in a better position to throw the ball,” Wainwright said. “Just everything was out of whack, out of timing.”
Wainwright did not throw any between-start bullpen sessions in September in order to save his bullets for October, but he told Goold that his arm “is in a position (health-wise) that I can and should throw” one before he takes the bump again in this best-of-seven National League Championship Series. That would be Game 5.
Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.
Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.
It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.
Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.