- Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Cardinals number one starting pitcher Adam Wainwright is ready to build off his up and down comeback year in 2012. I previously speculated on what kind of season he’ll have with St. Louis, so let’s delve a bit further and see if he can contend for a National League Cy Young.
Wainwright have to be outstanding because he’ll have a fair amount of competition this season. Steven Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Cain and Cole Hamels are all expected to have strong seasons and it will take a hefty surge from 2012 for Wainwright to outdo that group.
I’m expecting that a Cy Young-type season in 2013 would consist of 20 wins, a sub-2.50 ERA, a WHIP not exceeding 1.20, 200 strikeouts with at least 200 innings pitched. Those are figures that the aforementioned group should reasonably reach given the right circumstances.
That might be a tall order to expect out of Wainwright but he met all the above criteria in 2010–by far his best year in the big leagues.
Showing flashes of brilliance mixed in with some rough outings last year, its anyone’s guess if Waino can get his old stuff back after his surgery. He’s expected to handle over 200 innings as the staff ace but 20 is a pretty tall order, even for the best in baseball.
Wainwright’s career WHIP sits at 1.21–his best mark of 1.05 occurred in 2010–so it stands to reason he’ll be close but likely not below the 1.20 mark. As for his ERA, based upon his career 3.31 FIP and his 2012 xFIP of 3.23, I’m guessing Wainwright will be north–or just below–a 3.00. He’s had a steady mark of roughly 4-1 K/BB in five seasons and hasn’t failed to strike out over 200 batters so long as he pitches well over 200 innings.
I have my doubts Wainwright will return to to pre-surgery Cy Young-type form, but I’m fairly certain he will have a very strong year for the Cardinals.