JUPITER, Fla. -- With heavy rains headed to the Jupiter/West Palm Beach area again on Saturday, the Cardinals moved Adam Wainwright’s scheduled start up to Saturday afternoon in an intrasquad scrimmage at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Cardinals are scheduled to face the Astros in West Palm Beach at 6:05 p.m. ET, but a forecast of heavy rains could put the game in jeopardy. Kodi Whitley, who has a 3.00 ERA in three relief appearances this spring, will start in place of Wainwright.
The Cardinals made a similar move on Friday, throwing projected starting pitcher Dakota Hudson in an intrasquad scrimmage instead of the rain-interrupted 7-2 defeat of the New York Mets.
Hudson, back fully now following Tommy John surgery in 2020, faced a lineup of Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Harrison Bader and others and pitched well. He allowed just one run over four innings. Molina, 39 and still playing catchup after missing the first week of Spring Training because of a personal matter, led off the game with a single down the first-base line and later singled down the third-base line and stole a base when Hudson didn’t pay attention to him.
“That was perfect for two reasons,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “One, it means [Molina's] getting his legs under him and good enough to do it. And then for Hudson, to wake up. It was good for both.”
Wainwright is still scheduled to make his sixth Opening Day start on Thursday at Busch Stadium against the Pirates. It will be Wainwright’s first Opening Day start since 2016. The Cardinals are 2-3 in Wainwright’s Opening Day starts. He trails only Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (10 Opening Day starts). In terms of home openers, it will be Wainwright’s seventh such start, one more than Gibson’s six.