Adam Wainwright Having Career Year, Possibly Historic

by Ryan Walton | Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2013
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Adam Wainwright

Start naming the best pitchers of the 2013 season and it doesn’t take long to get to Adam Wainwright’s name. In fact there are very few names above him on that list. Wainwright is not only having a career year, he is having a historical year in some sense. Taking a look at the numbers he is having the best year of his career. Up until now 2010 was his best year when he was 20-11 with a 2.47 ERA and finished second in the Cy Young voting to Roy Halladay.

Since then it has been a long road to recovery from the Tommy John Surgery that Wainwright underwent on February 28, 2011. The surgery takes up to 18 months to recover from and is hit and miss on what the player’s career will look like in the long term.

Since the start of the second half of 2012, which was a little more than 16 months after surgery, Wainwright is 17-10 with a 2.71 ERA. As the strength in his arm improves so does the efficiency of his pitching. It wasn’t until his fifth start that Wainwright issued a walk and hasn’t walked more than two in any start in 2013.

At this point of the season the ace of the St. Louis Cardinals staff has only walked 10 batters while striking out 106 which is good for a 10.6 strikeouts to walk ratio. Historically there have been only three instances where a pitcher has had a ratio of at least 10 in a single season:

Pitcher

SO/BB

Year

Bret Saberhagen

11.00

1994

Cliff Lee

10.28

2010

Jim Whitney

10.00

1884

Wainwright is among the leaders in Major League Baseball with a 2.31 ERA (8th), 0.77 BB/9 (1st), 2.01 FIP (1st), 116.2 IP (1st), and one of only two pitchers with three complete games (Jordan Zimmermann). His command of the strike zone and his pitches are something he has taken pride in this year with 68% of his pitches counting for strikes.

If you look around the league at the pitchers who have the most success it tends to be guys who aren’t afraid to throw a strike. Wainwright has always been able to throw all his pitches for strikes and when he has his twelve to six curveball working he is as filthy as anybody. Through the first 16 starts of the season Wainwright has demonstrated Cy Young caliber stuff and should be considered a leading candidate moving forward.

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Ryan Walton
About the Author

Ryan Walton is a writer who lives in Southern California. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanWaltonVBN







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