Adam Wainwright’s season is over before it started.
The St. Louis Cardinals ace learned Thursday that he will need surgery to replace a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that usually take at least a year from which to recover.
“That’s a big guy to miss,” teammate Kyle Lohse said in Jupiter, Fla. “We still got to go out there and play. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We still have to go out there and do our jobs.”
The 29-year-old right-hander experienced soreness toward the end of last season and didn’t pitch in September. He threw to the Cardinals’ top hitter in batting practice Monday and was set to start his team’s spring training opener, then felt soreness the following day and was sent back to St. Louis on Wednesday for an examination.
Lewis Yocum then gave a second opinion to Wainwright, who won 19 games in 2009 and 20 last year to earn a second-place finish in NL Cy Young Award voting.
St. Louis will search for a fifth starter to go along with Chris Carpenter, Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook.
“You’re losing an ace,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “It’s not something you can replace overnight. I would also say we have four quality pitchers. It’s not exactly like we have no bullets left.”
In Glendale, Ariz., pitcher Vicente Padilla is expected to return to the Dodgers’ spring training facility after having surgery on his right arm in Los Angeles.
Doctors freed up a nerve that was trapped by a muscle. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says Padilla faces three to four weeks of rehabilitation.
Neither Mattingly nor Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti had a timetable for when Padilla, a projected reliever, would be ready to go to work.
In Lakeland, Fla., Miguel Cabrera arrived at spring training for the first time since he was arrested last week on suspicion of drunken driving. He promptly apologized as Major League Baseball said he will undergo treatment set up by doctors administered by management and its players’ union.
The 27-year-old was arrested Feb. 16 on suspicion of driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence, both misdemeanors. He is set to be arraigned on March 16.
“I am very sorry for what I have done,” Cabrera said through a translator. “I have worked hard for a period of time and I hope everyone forgives me. All I ask for is forgiveness.”
In Surprise, Ariz., Texas Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb threw 60-65 pitches off flat ground during a 17-minute session. Texas manager Ron Washington said the “ball was coming out of his hand real good.”
The Rangers decided they wanted the right-hander to build up arm strength before getting back on a mound after his short bullpen session during the first workout a week ago. The former NL Cy Young Award winner hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since the 2009 opener for Arizona because of shoulder surgery.
In Scottsdale, Ariz., the Colorado Rockies decided to be careful with right-hander Aaron Cook, who has missed three days of pitching and will miss his first scheduled start of spring training due to continued setbacks from tightness in his shoulder and a bout with a stomach ailment.
Cook entered spring training as Colorado’s No. 3 starter behind Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa.
In Sarasota, Fla., Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts missed a second straight day of spring training workouts because of a stiff neck.