Adam Wainwright may not be done with St. Louis Cardinals

Sep 20, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The expectation is that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will walk off into the sunset after this season, joining Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina in retirement. Well, not so fast.

According to Jon Morosi, Wainwright was asked if he planned on playing beyond the 2022 campaign. He responded with an enigmatic “you never know” and smiled, refusing to say anything further.

Adam Wainwright may have another run with the St. Louis Cardinals

One can understand why Wainwright may not be ready to hang up the cleats just yet. He is in the midst of another solid season, posting a 3.38 ERA and a 1.245 WHiP in his 184 innings, striking out 138 batters with 49 walks. There is still something left in the tank even at 41 years old.

Having Wainwright return for one more season would also stabilize the Cardinals rotation next year. Miles Mikolas is in the midst of a career year but has begun to slow down over the past few weeks. Jordan Montgomery has found another gear since being traded by the Yankees but it is fair to wonder if he can sustain that performance.

The rest of the prospective rotation for 2023 is riddled with question marks as well. Steven Matz has been injured for most of this season and has not fared well when he has been able to take the mound. The same can be said for Jack Flaherty. Dakota Hudson cannot strike anyone out and has walked a tightrope every time he has taken the mound this season. The Cardinals need reinforcements for next year.

Wainwright could be exactly that. He is clearly no longer an ace caliber pitcher, but he can be a solid option as a third or fourth starter. That is all the Cardinals would need him to be. Based on his production this season, that would not be a problem.

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Adam Wainwright was expected to retire after this season. As the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher said on Friday, “you never know.”