Big League Stew - MLB

The baseball world may have just been dealt its first totally deflating injury news for 2011: Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright(notes) is on his way back to St. Louis, where he'll have his right elbow examined for a possible blowout. It doesn't look good, folks.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

General manager John Mozeliak said he believes it is a "significant injury" and the early word is "not encouraging."

Tommy John surgery is one alternative to repair the damage that Wainwright is being checked for.

"After his bullpen on Monday he did feel something in his right elbow," Mozeliak said. "I can say just based on the initial evaluation from our training staff, things do not look encouraging. But before jump to any conclusions we'll just wait until the re-evaluation this afternoon."

There's more to come on this story and there's no doubt that St. Louis Cardinals fans will be holding out hope until then. Wainwright has put together Cy Young-caliber years in back-to-back seasons (going a combined 39-19 with a 2.53 ERA in 2009-10) and is one of the biggest reasons the Cards could put a run toward the 2011 NL Central title together. From a pure baseball fan standpoint, he's one of those pitchers you'd tune into watch, even if you don't have a stake in the game. Losing him for the season would be an incredible disappointment.

I'm racking my brain to think of the last time that Tommy John surgery was mentioned in an article and it wound up not being necessary. Unfortunately, nothing is coming to mind.

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