Wainwright’s injury was a terrible blow to the St. Louis Cardinals last year. How can you possibly plan for your ace to injure his Achilles while running the bases on a weak putout. Wainwright pulled off a miraculous recovery to make it back in time for the playoffs, but pitched only in relief. The Cardinals must have a full season from him in 2016 after losing Lance Lynn to Tommy John and John Lackey to the Chicago Cubs. There are also big questions surrounding Jaime Garcia and Carlos Martinez. Can either of them stay healthy for an entire season?
The big right-hander has dealt with injuries in the past, and has always returned to form. He’s 34 now, and it’s hard to say whether or not his latest injury could be the one that begins his inevitable decline. Wainwright’s ERA in 2012, after missing the entire 2011 season after Tommy John, was 3.94, the worst of his career. With the Cubs on the verge of becoming the best team in baseball, the Cardinals cannot have a season like that from Wainwright in 2016.