At the age of 34, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright will be looking to once again prove he is one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball after tearing his Achilles early last season.
While he still believes in himself, some fantasy baseball owners may be cautious when it comes to taking the veteran pitcher. As good as he's been through the years, he still hasn't started a game since last April. That makes him a bit of a risk in fantasy baseball leagues.
Right now, he feels a bit disrespected.
Just listen to how Wainwright handled being taken in the seventh round in an expert fantasy baseball draft on Sirius XM. The three-time All-Star called in to a radio show to voice his displeasure about being taken that late—and he only got more disgusted when he found out that 21 pitchers were taken before him.
After being given an initial recovery time of nine to 12 months, Wainwright returned from his Achilles injury last year in just five months. That gave him a chance to pitch down the stretch, where he allowed two runs in six total (regular-season and postseason) appearances out of the bullpen.
Pitching in relief and starting are completely different. However, Wainwright has proven throughout his career that you should never count him out. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and won 14 games in 2012. Not only that, but he made the National League All-Star team in both 2013 and 2014, winning a total of 39 games over those two seasons.
In other words, he can bounce back from injuries.
Wainwright has won at least 19 games in four of the past five full seasons he has pitched in. Nobody is doubting that he still has what it takes to be an ace, but there are some who are concerned about his durability. And there's nothing the right-hander can do about that until he takes the mound.
[Sirius XM, h/t Fox Sports]