Results tagged ‘ Adam Wainwright ’
On Friday, the Cardinals square off against the Dodgers in the National League Division Series. Two Major League scouts offered their take on two key players on Redbirds, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina:
Scout No. 1:
“He has superb command with all four of his pitches. His curveball is a big top to bottom spinning curve with great bite downward, and that makes it very tough for hitters to square up. He can locate his fastball on both sides of the plate. He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball. He pitches at 88-92 mph with the fastball. I’ve seen him reach back and hit 95 mph but he mainly sits around 90 mph. Just when you think you are on his fastball, he will use his cut fastball and/or his slider to keep you guessing. He’s a great competitor who knows how to win and when the going gets tough, he has the plus curve he can use to escape damage.”
“Defensively, his game speaks for itself. He’s the best catcher in the game today in terms of calling the game for his pitcher. He knows how to get the most out of his pitcher, he knows the league well and how to pitch guys. The Brewers’ Maldonado is the only guy I know of who has better pure arm strength than Molina. Offensively, Molina looks like he might still be feeling the effects of his injured thumb. He doesn’t look like he is feeling for the ball, but it doesn’t look like he is/can fully let it fly just yet. He’s a smart hitter at the plate and will sit on a pitch if you fall into patterns with him. He’s an aggressive hitter, who is looking to swing the bat.”
“The Cardinals have pitching coming out of their ears and that is the strength of the team. Ellis is a professional hitter off the bench from the right side, with Descalso being the secret weapon off the bench hitting from the left side. Descalso has been swinging the bat well down the stretch, hitting .359 in August.”
Scout No. 2:
“A workhorse on the mound with a four-pitch mix. He’s a fast working strike thwoer who throws a fastball, curve, cutter and change up, and all with plus command and to both sides of the plate. He will move from different sides of the rubber to create different angles to the hitters. He’s one of the only pitchers doing that in today’s game. His 6-foot 7-inch frame offers a tremendous slot with high arm angle to the plate. He will throw any pitch at anytime and have confidence he will throw it for a strike. A true competitor who will also give you a quality at bat. Adam is not afraid to takes his swings at the plate. He is a good athlete for his size and moves around the mound very well. He fields his position very well and is a true professional. His curve and cutter combo make it tough for anybody to react. As a hitter, you have to go up there sitting on one pitch because if you are just going to react or wait for a mistake, the at-bat will be over quickly. Paired with Molina, these two guys make up a special battery.”
“Yadi is the game’s best catcher and arguably the best catcher in Major League history. Yadi offers so much more than meets the eye especiall when it comes to handling the staff. He does it with ease. Molina shuts down the running game with his arm and quick release times. His game calling ability and unbelievable feel offers things that can’t be taught. He is a truly professional hitter who uses the whole field. He is a very smart hitter and will know what the pitcher is going to do before the pitcher even knows. He has the ability to hit the ball in the seats but also be used as a hit and run guy hitting the ball behind the runner. He’s still not 100 percent from his thumb injury, he has not driven the ball like he is capable, but he’s such a fierce competitor that he wants to play. He makes this Cardinals team go. He’s a guy who can’t be replaced. Players like him come around once in a generation, if ever.”
— Carrie Muskat
Braden Looper was Adam Wainwright’s teammate on the Cardinals, and both are board of directors of an organization. Looper last saw Wainwright this offseason. As soon as Looper heard about Wainwright’s elbow injury, he sent a text message to his friend.
“He told me a couple jokes, back and forth,” Looper said Thursday of Wainwright. “He didn’t know what was going on yet.”
If he’s joking, then maybe Wainwright’s elbow injury isn’t that serious?
“That’s just his personality,” said Looper, who hoped to call Wainwright later Thursday. “I’m sure it’s tough. It’s a big loss for a team like that — any team. That’s just his personality and you have to know him to appreciate it. He’s a good hard worker and he’ll be all right.”
Looper didn’t know any details about Wainwright’s injury.
“I know that knowing him, he’s a character guy and he’s a guy who shows young guys how to work hard, so I know he’ll be all right,” Looper said. “That’s a comforting thing for me, knowing that he’s a guy who will bust his butt to get back.”
Cubs fans may be excited about the Cardinals losing their 20-game winner from the rotation. Looper would like to face a team when it’s at full strength.
“We want to beat them because we’re better,” he said. “You never want to wish a guy to get hurt. You want to say at the end of the day, hopefully, we’re a better team than they are. Every team goes through adversity. Obviously, [the Cardinals’] is starting sooner than ours. I’m sure there will be something we’ll have to go through. Every team goes through something.”
— Carrie Muskat