Reds react to news surrounding Wainwright

Reds react to news surrounding Wainwright

Reds react to news surrounding Wainwright
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- News filtered quickly from Florida to Reds camp in Arizona Wednesday upon the news that Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright left camp and returned to St. Louis because of a "significant" elbow ligament injury.

"Wainwright, gone," outfielder Jonny Gomes seemed to declare as he walked into the clubhouse in the morning.

Wainwright was 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA last season and won 19 games in 2009. The right-hander and teammate Chris Carpenter form the most potent 1-2 rotation combo in the National League Central.

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The outcome of the medical examination on Wainwright's elbow is not yet known. If he is indeed gone for the season to have elbow surgery, the Reds' chances to repeat as division winners will drastically improve. St. Louis finished second in the NL Central last season, five games behind Cincinnati.

"He is one of the main pitchers they have," Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez said. "He's one of the guys that every time he pitches, it's going to be a plus game. He always goes deep in the game. Any time you've got a No. 1 or No. 2 down, you've put yourself in big trouble trying to find another guy like him."

Someone asked Reds manager Dusty Baker if his club's pitching depth could withstand someone like Wainwright going down.

"You don't have the depth to overcome losing a Wainwright," Baker said. "They got two of the top six or seven pitchers in our league on one team."

Even Baker's 12-year-old son, Darren, was spreading the news about Wainwright. Before going to school, Darren called his father's office from their home in Sacramento.

"Significant, huh? All right my son, thanks for the tip," Baker said to his son over the phone.

"That's my scout right there," Baker said.

Later in the day, a published report accused Gomes of singing and appearing to enjoy Wainwright's misfortune -- something he flatly denied.

"I came in and I said 'Is Wainwright gone, is Wainwright gone?'" Gomes said when reached by phone. "To clear up everything, I came up with Wainwright. I know Wainwright. I think he's one of the top notch pitchers in the National League and baseball. Outside of different uniforms that we wear and different cities we play in, playing in the Major Leagues, we're all brothers. There's a brotherhood there. There's one thing you would never wish upon any other player and that's an injury...

"Off the field, we're still human and we have families. There's one thing you don't wish upon anyone and that is an injury. Even if they are on the other team, you wish them the best of health. If Wainwright is gone, it doesn't mean anything to us. It maybe gives them the opportunity to make a trade for another big ace."