#1- Adam Wainwright
The curveball specialist affectionately known as “Uncle Charlie” on Twitter is the most likely candidate to lock up the N.L. Comeback Player of the Year Award. He too is returning from injury, but his injury is to his leg and not his arm. He suffered an Achilles injury last year, but was able to return to the Cardinals in time for their playoff push.
Wainwright has nasty stuff and is a great bet to easily surpass 220 innings plus. He is a workhorse and, being that his injury was not arm related, there is a good chance for him to return to dominance on the mound for the Cardinals. He went 2-1 in the 2015 season for the Cardinals in seven games (four starts) and had a 1.61 ERA and a 1.036 WHIP. He also went five and a third innings against the Cubs in the playoffs only allowing one run on three hits.
The 34-year old right-handed pitcher is the ace of the Cardinals staff and we will be in store for a huge workload. He is looked upon as a mentor for the Cardinals young pitchers and his value to the team is immeasurable. Wainwright has a history of success and will easily build upon his great career.
The Comeback Player of the Year was created to recognize those players that had the work ethic and drive to re-attain the success they once enjoyed. Adam Wainwright will easily be in the running for the award and in my eyes should win it. The only way he could lose is if Jose Fernandez pitches over 200 innings, and it seems unlikely the Marlins would allow him to do that. Still you never know. Either way Wainwright is a stud and will have a great year for the Cardinals.