Daily Archives: February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals Are Gonna Need Another Wagon Maker

The big news of the day is not good news for the St. Louis Cardinals or, for that matter, Major League Baseball. Adam Wainwright injured his elbow and it’s almost a certainty he will need Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2011 season.

Wainwright had some twinges in his forearm at the end of last year, but managed to win 20 games. Just Monday when throwing some batting practice, though, he “suffered additional damage to his right ulnar collateral ligament.” The Cardinals have always been reluctant to discuss details of injuries, but have been rather open about this one, with general manager John Mozeliak actually mentioning the likelihood of the ligament replacement surgery.

The MRI results are in, but Wainwright will be looking for a second opinion, as anyone in his position would. It sucks for him. And while it makes the National League central division a little easier for the Cincinnati Reds, I would really rather see the Reds defeat the Cardinals with both teams at full strength. Plus, I prefer seeing a strong division, as opposed to the one with only two good teams that 2010 brought us.

Those in favor of morbid coincidences should like this bit, though. Two weeks ago when discussing the joint issues he’d had at the end of 2010, Wainwright said, “My ligament is intact and strong. It’s not like it’s ready to pop.” Famous last words.

February 23, 2011

The Day After Tapping Volquez

As was announced yesterday, Dusty Baker surprised everyone by naming Edinson Volquez as the Opening Day starter for the Cincinnati Reds.

I was surprised at the news because it seemed premature. No games have been played yet, after all. Of course, given the Reds cast of terrible, terrible pitchers they’ve had start the season over the years–I’m looking at you Jimmy Haynes and Joey Hamilton–that first pitcher isn’t going to make or break the season. Plus, every starter on the team is better than those never-weres. Also, Baker had some excellent reasoning.

I did expect the other Reds fans to be upset about the pick.

  • Red Reporter, like me, seemed surprised by the early announcement, but didn’t look to deeply into it.
  • Redleg Nation reminds us that Baker also surprised everyone by picking Volquez to start the playoff series against the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Yeah, I know one game out of 162 matters far less than one out of three, but I do hope it turns out better than that.
  • Chris Sabo’s Goggles wonders if there’s more to the decision than meets the eye. He runs through the other candidates for the honor, namely Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto, and asks, “why reward someone the Opening Day start to someone who clearly doesn’t want to stay here?” Volquez did only sign a one-year deal, after all. Goggles’ comes to a good conclusion, though.
  • Lastly, Shawn also expressed surprise at the announcement. “It is an official recognition of Volquez as the ace going into 2011.” That it is. And I have a feeling it will turn out well.

So there you go. The Reds bloggers seem to have taken the news in stride. Color me surprised. And also, color me anxious for any baseball games to be played. Volquez starting Opening Day is too far away. But the first Spring Training game is less than a week away.