Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright is scheduled to start the 2018 season on the disabled list, club manager Mike Matheny announced Sunday. Wainwright was scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League start against the Nationals with a left hamstring strain, which appears to be serious enough that he won’t be able to make his first start of the season next weekend.
The 36-year-old right-hander is approaching his final year in a Cardinals uniform. He went 12-5 in 23 starts with a career-worst 5.11 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.0 SO/9 through 123 1/3 innings in 2017. Despite his underwhelming performance last season, he looked dominant at the start of camp, allowing just two runs and two walks and striking out 10 batters in 10 2/3 innings of Grapefruit League play.
Without Wainwright, rookie right-hander Jack Flaherty will break camp with the Cardinals and take over the no. 5 spot in the rotation. Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Luke Weaver will handle the first road trip of the year, with Weaver supplanting Wainwright for next Sunday’s matchup against the Mets.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.