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NL Central Favorite St. Louis Cardinals Lose Ace Adam Wainwright For Season,

February 24th, 2011- By Bryan Cross

The St. Louis Cardinals received some devastating news today prior to the start of the 2011 MLB Season, finding out that ace pitcher Adam Wainwright will need Tommy John’s surgery to repair his elbow, ending his season before it even began.

“It’s not a real surprise to us but certainly a disappointment,” said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. “As we look to the future now we certainly believe we still have a strong starting rotation. Now we’re going to have to look to try to fill it in terms of a fifth spot.”

Wainwright felt something out of the ordinary earlier this week during a throwing sessions. Last season, the Cardinals best pitcher won 20 games and was second in the voting for the National League Cy Young Award.

With Wainwright gone, the rotation for the season currently sits with Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook.

“That’s a big guy to miss,” Lohse said when learning of his fellow pitcher’s fate. “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.”

Entering this season, St. Louis felt good about their starting rotation, but the loss of Wainwright now is a big cause for concern. Still though, St. Louis is left with four pitchers capable of getting victories.

“You’re losing an ace,” 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.”

The Cardinals said that they have no intentions of going outside the system to try and bring someone in.

“You follow camps and see if something develops where it’s a good fit,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But right now it’s not a good fit because we’re going to cover it from within. We’ll pay attention though, that’s part of what you do in spring training. We have scouts all over and we’ll watch box scores.”

Entering this 2011 MLB season, MLB Futures odds on Bodog Sportsbook have the Cardinals as the betting favorite to win the NL Central and are at 22/1 to win the World Series. It is no yet determined how Wainwright’s absence this season will effect the futures odds.

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