Wainwright did go for a second opinion today and it did conclude that he will have to go under the knife.
Tommy John surgery usually requires 12-18 months of rehabilitation. Tough break for a kid who was slowly coming up in the ranks as a pitcher.
Wainwright has gone the past four seasons winning 10+ games and finished the past two seasons with 200+ strikeouts. Last year, he was 20-11 with 2.42 ERA and the previous year, he was 19-8 with 2.63 ERA.
Cardinals will be able to void their $9 million option for 2012 and $12 million for 2013, so it will be interesting to see how they handle his contract situation.
The bigger question is who is going to replace the right-hander. I offered some insight on who could replace him yesterday and came to the conclusion that it will be Kyle McClellan.
However, a few more names have been thrown in the mix as well. Ian Snell, Lance Lynn, Brian Tallet and Miguel Batista could also be part of the in-house mix that gets the job. Also, consider Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Bonderman, who both have yet to find jobs in the majors this season.
I also heard that if either the Yankees’ Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia do not make the team out of Spring Training, they have an out-clause in their contracts where they could get released.
If anything, Wainwright’s 15+ wins are going to be very difficult to replace, especially in the ever more competitive National League Central.