Why Adam Wainwright should stay in St. Louis Cardinals rotation the rest of 2023

The St. Louis Cardinals open a four-game series against the New York Mets Thursday night at Busch Stadium and, despite them falling out of playoff contention, it’s going to be a big series for one of their former ace pitchers.

Adam Wainwright is scheduled to make his scheduled start and, despite spending all 18 of his seasons in St. Louis, the team giving the right-hander one last chance to get his final season back on track. In the overall picture, the Cardinals owe it to him to let him finish out his career in the rotation, not out of the bullpen or any other decision the team makes if the start doesn’t go well.

St. Louis Cardinals will re-evaluate Adam Wainwright’s rotation spot after Mets start

In his last start against the Kansas City Royals last Friday night, he lasted just one inning, allowing nine runs on eight hits and two home runs. Yes, it was not a good start for the veteran, but manager Oliver Marmol said that his next start against New York will determine what happens next.

“We sat down, we talked through it, like: ‘Listen, we’re going to take your next start and I’m looking forward to seeing it. And then we’re going to sit down after and re-evaluate how it went and go from there,'” Marmol said. “Hopefully, it goes well and we can keep going. If it doesn’t, we’ll sit down and we’ll have another honest conversation as to what does this really look like moving forward and what’s best?”

What’s best? I get it, it’s been a frustrating season for St. Louis, who has been stuck in the basement of the National League Central most of the season, but they have nothing to play for and they owe it to Wainwright to keep him in the rotation, regardless of how his start against the equally struggling Mets go. Yes, he has had his struggles, but they need to him work things out before his career is over.

Wainwright enters the game with 198 regular-season wins, two shy of joining Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Jesse Haines as the only 200-game winners in franchise history. Taking him out of the rotation if things don’t go well tonight is not the move they should make. He deserves the chance to join the franchise’s elite company before he hangs up his cleats at the end of the season.

The Cardinals are not used to playing spoiler this time of year and it’s a position they would rather not be in. Playing out the string stinks but, after 18 seasons and numerous trips to the postseason, they owe it to Wainwright to join elite company.