Adam Wainwright Speaks from Springfield

photo: Adam Wainwright (Springfield Cardinals)

St. Louis Cardinals right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright was in Springfield on Sunday in his continuing rehab from an elbow injury.

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Wainwright, along with pitcher Carlos Martinez and infielder Yairo Munoz, appeared in the S-Cards series-finale against Corpus Christi (HOU).

Wainwright allowed a double in the first and he went on to strike out four. His fastball topped out at 92 mph and he recorded all his strikeouts off his curveball.

Following his second rehab appearance, Wainwright spoke to the local media in Springfield, discussing how he felt and much more.

Media Member: Looked pretty good today. How did you feel out there?

Adam Wainwright: “It was good. I commanded the ball a little better than last time (in Palm Beach). My breaking stuff was good. I have got to hone in on my heater a little bit, but my arm felt great. I love pitching. I love getting out there and competing. It’s my favorite thing in the world.”

Media Member: What were the goals coming into this start and did you feel you achieved them as you get closer to getting back to St. Louis?

Adam Wainwright: “I’m just doing what I’m supposed to at this point. I’m incrementally getting better and better each time out. That has always been the goal. That was the goal. That still is the goal. So, next time I pitch in Arkansas on Wednesday, hopefully we get a little bit better from there too.”

Media Member: Has St. Louis told you what your role is going to be this season?

Adam Wainwright: “No, but if you hear, let me know. I would love to know myself. I think they are waiting to see kind of what they are going to need, honestly. They are playing such good baseball right now. You don’t know come in and mess up the mojo, but also if you come in and help the team win, then they are going to use you.

“Hopefully, eventually, they think I can help them win and we will go out there and compete.”

Media Member: Is that kind of tough to have to be out here and watch them play so well?

Adam Wainwright: “That is the hand I was dealt. I had an injury I didn’t want to have this year. I wanted to go out and make every start and be strong this year. That is not what I was dealt with, so why not make the most of it? There is no reason to be pouting around. You might as well be a good teammate and be a good teammate for each step along the way also.”

Media Member: How excited are you to get back there and get into that clubhouse and be a part of a team that has been surging now for so long?

Adam Wainwright: “It’s fun to be a part of. I got to go in yesterday for about 30 minutes to do some treatment, say hello, kiss some babies, shake some hands, and turn right around and fly out. It is fun to watch those young guys play. They are inspiring all of us to get better. It’s just so exciting.”

Media Member: What was it like playing back here in Springfield?

Adam Wainwright: “It’s always a great crowd. It’s Cardinal country here in Springfield. I got up here yesterday and had a great time in the city. We went to the Pineapple Whip. We went to the City Butcher and we went to the most amazing aquarium I have ever seen in my entire life at the Bass Pro Shops over there. Johnny Morris’ aquarium is unlike anything I have ever seen. The girls had a great time. I’m glad to be here and it was good to pitch in front of the crowd.”

Media Member: What about the team – what have you seen in these young guys?

Adam Wainwright: “I haven’t seen much – only a couple of innings. But everybody seemed to be doing pretty well. It’s fun for me to see Yairo and Carlos almost getting back, too. Those guys are great competitors and good big league hitters and pitchers. I think we have an incredibly deep farm system.

“I just came from Palm Beach. I think there is a couple of superstars in the wait down there and we know there is a couple down here as well. I think the future is very bright for the Cardinals.”

Media Member: Do you feel like you had a taste of being back in St. Louis, having Yairo and Carlos here?

Adam Wainwright: “It’s good to see familiar faces, for sure. I know a lot of these guys. Sam Tewes and Jeremy Martinez are in a bible reading plan with me. I know a lot of these guys off the field also. We have a good time.”

Media Member: So, what happens when Matt Carpenter runs out of salsa? Are you going to plant him a bigger garden?

Adam Wainwright: “No, no. He won’t run out of salsa. He makes three jars a day. He is not going to run out anytime soon unless the grocery store runs out of groceries.”

Media Member: Your off-speed stuff really seemed to be working for you today. Is that pretty good progress for you going forward?

Adam Wainwright: “My curveball was the hardest for me to throw before I went on the DL. That is why I went on the DL. I could find my way around an average fastball that was somewhat located, but I couldn’t spin the ball. That has always been my strength, so when I can’t spin the ball, I need to let someone else who can and step in.

“My breaking ball is probably better than it has been in years. It is really fun to throw it.”

Media Member: Now the next outing coming up – is the plan for you to start or come out of the bullpen?

Adam Wainwright: “Great question. I don’t know. I’m going to worry about that when the time comes. I’m assuming I’m starting it. I don’t know that at all. I could be pitching the last three (rehab games). We’ll see. Not sure.”

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