It’s important to emphasize at the outset: I would never wish an injury on a ballplayer simply because he plays for an opposing team. Especially not a serious injury.

That said, the Cubs’ chances in the Central may have improved with the news that Adam Wainwright, at times the best pitcher in the NL Central, has a “significant” right elbow injury, which may result in Tommy John surgery. Wainwright, who is signed to a sweetheart deal through this season, with two relatively inexpensive club options in 2012 and 2013, would miss a year and a half if he underwent surgery. He’s headed back to St. Louis to be examined.

The Cardinals are expected to look at picking up a veteran starter like Kevin Millwood, but replacing Wainwright’s production at this point will be impossible. Their lineup remains formidable, but the loss of Wainwright would take the Cardinals’ rotation from the best or second best in the Central to perhaps the third or fourth – notably, behind the Cubs.




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