Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

adam wainwright cardinalsSt. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is headed to the disabled list and the news that will follow isn’t expected to be good for Cardinals fans.

Wainwright was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday morning with a left Achilles and left ankle injury.

The injury occurred when Wainwright awkwardly slipped out of the batter’s box while popping out in the fifth inning of the Cardinals’ 5-3 win against the Brewers at Miller Park.

Wainwright was cruising along prior to the injury. He tossed four scoreless innings, scattered three hits, struck out four and walked none as the team held on to an early 2-0 lead.

Then came his at bat to lead off the top of the fifth.

And here’s the fear for the Cardinals:

This is the latest significant injury to the Cardinals’ rotation this season.

The team is already without Jaime Garcia because of issues with his surgically repaired left shoulder. Top pitching prospect Marco Gonzales hit the 7-day DL in the minors because of a shoulder issue.

We discussed Garcia’s injury and the Cardinals’ pitching depth in late March, and it is worth re-visiting today.

Of course, losing Wainwright is the most significant blow to the Cardinals and has obvious major implications on the NL Central race.

Wainwright is one of baseball’s elite pitchers. He has finished in the top-3 in NL Cy Young voting in four of the last five years. Despite missing all of 2011, he owns a 94-51 record in 169 starts. He boasts a 2.80 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 137 ERA+, 3.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 2.0 walks-per-9 innings rate.

Since 2009, the Cardinals’ record in Wainwright’s starts: 108-61. That comes out to a .639 winning percentage.

Losing Wainwright is a game-changer for the Cardinals and the rest of the National League.

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