RM: Adam, it’s been a few weeks since we had an
opportunity to talk and I just want to congratulate you on making the team this
RM: One thing we talked about in spring training was that you were
approaching the game as a starter, when you were coming in out of the bullpen.
Now that you are here and actually working out of the bullpen, does that change your
approach to the game?
AW: It doesn’t change my approach, you just got to be ready, it
changes your awareness, you have stay ready all the time, just be ready when you
RM: As a reliever, it’s so important to get that first out and
there isn’t a margin for error that you can make up with the next batter or the
next inning if you are starting. Do you think when you are coming in the
game as a reliever, that you are more focused than perhaps you would be
starting a game?
AW: I don’t think you are more focused, you have to be just as
focused as a starter, you just have to stay focused the whole game. As a
reliever, you are right, you do have to really get that first batter, but there
is no difference, as a starter you need to get that first batter.
RM: First of all, I agree with the Cardinals bringing you up
now and using you out of the bullpen. I do have some concerns.
You pitched 184 innings last season, and as a member of the bullpen
you will probably pitch about 60-70 innings. The Cardinals see your future as a
starter, as such, you will be required to go back up to pitching 180-200 innings
next season. Do you see this as a potential problem?
AW: I think this year should give me a good rest period and give my
arm a chance to rebuild and get stronger. I don’t think it should be a
RM: I talked with Dave Duncan and he said you need to focus on
your responsibilities to the team for this year and that you can’t afford to
look to next year.
AW: That’s right.
RM: I was wondering, considering that your future is that of a
starter, concerning your conditioning, do you plan on changing your off season
training program to prepare for next season?
AW: No, I like my off season program. The last couple of seasons I
have come into spring training ready to play and in top shape and I’ll just keep
it at that, whether I’m a starter of reliever.
RM: So in your mind, there is nothing negative about being used
as a reliever, as it relates to your future as a starter?
AW: No, (laughter) there is nothing negative about being in the
RM: My concern with you Adam, is about the big change in
innings pitched from this season to next and your conditioning.
AW: Mainly I will condition this season like the other relievers
do. My arm is in good enough shape to throw three, four or five innings right now,
that will be fine.
RM: Do you need a couple of days rest after pitching 3 or 4
innings, that is the position of the team right now?
AW: Whatever they say, I will be ready to pitch the next day. But
probably a couple of days rest is correct.
RM: Ok, Adam thanks for your time and good luck.
AW: Thank you.
Adam Wainwright, is a top prospect and the real deal. He is one of
the Cardinals future starters and this year he is working out of the bullpen. A
move I agree with and promoted while I was at spring training.
I do have some concern about Wainwright going from pitching 184 innings from
last season down to 60 - 70 innings this season and then being required to
go back and pitching perhaps, 180 -200 innings next season.
Apparently, I’m the only one who is worrying. Pitching Coach Dave Duncan and
Adam Wainwright, both don’t see a need to change his conditioning and workout
program this season to ensure that he will be able to be a starter
next season. Their focus is on the job at hand. Adam is a reliever and he needs
to focus on that and I understand that position.
Something we all agreed on is, the positives of Wainwright working out in the
bullpen this season for the Cardinals far outweigh Adam starting at Memphis.
My take is, that Adam should perhaps be on a slightly different conditioning
and workout program then the other relievers. In the event of an injury to a
member of the rotation, Wainwright may be required to step into
the rotation this season, for sure he should be a starter next
The question is, will he be ready?