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Adam Wainwright will start the season on the disabled list

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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.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.