With the news that Adam Wainwright's elbow soreness is nothing more serious than, well, soreness, it appears that the Cardinals right-hander has dodged a bullet in a season filled with a surplus of elbow injuries.
Wainwright returned to St. Louis after throwing seven scoreless innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, and after the right-hander underwent an MRI, general manager John Mozeliak revealed that Wainwright's elbow ligament had no damage, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold.
Wainwright, who leads the league in wins this season after posting a league-leading 19 victories the season before, also ranks sixth in the majors with his 2.15 ERA. He has established himself as one of the most reliable pitchers in the majors since his Tommy John surgery in 2011, both in terms of performance and maintaining good health. After a somewhat rocky first year back, Wainwright led the league in innings, complete games and batters faced in 2013, and he could very well do the same this year, with his league-leading 100.1 innings already.
But durability is not the only thing that makes Wainwright valuable to the Cardinals. He also has three top-three Cy Young finishes to his name, and he'll pick up another one this season if he continues along with his current pace. Given the Brewers' hot start and the Cardinals' overall mediocre 34-31 record thus far, Mike Matheny's squad will need all the help they can get, and the news that Wainwright's elbow appears to be nothing more than "sore" is an excellent sign for the club.
According to Goold's report, Mozeliak called Wainwright's soreness akin to "tennis elbow," and he noted that the right-hander received an anti-inflammatory injection on Wednesday. As of now, it appears that he won't miss any time from the rotation.