Cardinals' Adam Wainwright Exits vs. Cubs After Suffering Hamstring Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2019

St. Louis Cardinals' Adam Wainwright walks off the field after being removed during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday, April 5, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright left Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs with hamstring tightness.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the news.

Injuries have become a major issue for the 37-year-old pitcher in recent years. He landed on the injured list a number of times last year because of a strained left hamstring and right elbow inflammation.

Wainwright has averaged just 18 appearances over the past four seasons. He has dealt with serious injuries throughout his career, undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011 and tore his Achilles in 2015.

During his prime, he was a workhorse for St. Louis. From 2007 to 2014, he made 32-plus starts six times and threw 198-plus innings in each of those seasons, including the year he returned from Tommy John surgery.

However, injuries have prevented the right-hander from being the perennial Cy Young Award candidate he once was.

Wainwright showed some signs of getting back on track last year, going 2-4 with a 4.46 ERA in eight starts. He allowed three runs or fewer in each of his first four appearances, but he posted a 4.84 ERA in four post-All-Star break starts.

This year, he is 5-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 12 starts, striking out 59 in 66.1 innings.

Even with his lengthy injury history, St. Louis opted to re-sign him, giving him a low-risk, incentive-laden deal. Wainwright has a base salary of $2 million for 2019, but if he remains healthy (and effective), he could make well north of that figure.

Now, the team's depth will once again be tested. The burden of snapping a three-year playoff drought will fall on the likes of Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson if Wainwright is forced to miss extensive time.