Wainwright proposes Mujica takes his All-Star spot
ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright has yet to decide whether he'll make himself available to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game. However, he proposed an interesting compromise that could benefit the Cardinals in two ways.
Wainwright wants to put teammate and closer Edward Mujica on the National League's active All-Star roster in his place. It would give Wainwright, the league's leader in innings pitched, time to rest. And it would reward Mujica for a strong first half in which he's converted 25 of his first 26 save opportunities.
"If my spot can go to a guy who's not on the roster, preferably on this team named Mujica, I would like to see that happen," Wainwright said. "Of course, I want to pitch in the game. But I don't want to be a liability in any way. If I have a pitch count of 12 pitches in an inning ... I want to see a guy who really deserves to be there go and get a chance to pitch.
"What a tremendous honor it would be to pitch in the game. But also, I want to be clear that if Mujica can go, I would love to see him take that spot. Let's put some pressure on them."
That decision ultimately belongs to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who as NL manager would select someone to replace Wainwright if the Cardinals ace chooses to be inactive for the game. Wainwright has that option because he is starting Sunday, two days before the All-Star Game.
Wainwright can also opt to keep his spot on the roster and be available to throw a maximum of one inning. Regardless of his choice, Wainwright will participate in all the All-Star Week festivities.
If Wainwright were to pitch in the All-Star Game, it could take the place of his normal between-starts side session. Unlike some pitchers, though, Wainwright throws those side sessions well below maximum effort. That means he would have to alter his routine for pitching in a game that determines home-field advantage in the World Series.
"[Manager Mike Matheny] joked with me [Tuesday] that even though it is my bullpen day, I probably wouldn't want to bring my bullpen stuff to the mound," Wainwright said. "I save all my bullets for the games. If I'm going to pitch 250 innings, which I feel like I want to do, I need to have some bullets saved up. So going out there and throwing 50-pitch, max bullpens doesn't make sense to me. I learned early on, even in the Minor Leagues, that I could get the same work in with my body and correct mechanics, feeling my delivery and just not throw it hard."