Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has been out since mid-May due to an elbow injury. The right-hander will begin a minor league rehab stint in the hopes of coming back and helping the Cardinals down the stretch.
Wainwright will soon turn 37 years old and is a free agent after the season, so there has been some thought that this might be his final season. However, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wainwright plans to continue pitching in 2019. Wainwright said, “I want to see how things end [this year]. But it would be really surprising to me if I came out and said I’m retiring.”
Wainwright added, “I don’t need a farewell tour. If that means after the season if I need to do something else to the back side of my elbow that I’ve never heard anybody else have in the history of the game, then I’ll do [it] and we’ll see. But at the moment, I’m not thinking about postseason [excluding the playoffs] stuff just yet.”
In four starts this season, Wainwright gave up nine runs (eight earned) on 19 hits and 14 walks with 15 strikeouts in 18 innings. He has missed time due to injury in three of his last four seasons. If Wainwright were to continue pitching beyond this year, he would likely have to settle for a minor league contract.
Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.