St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and miss the entire 2011 season, according to ESPN. Wainwright went 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA last season, finishing second in the National League Cy Young voting. He is just one of four pitchers the past two seasons to have at least 400 strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00.
The Cardinals entered spring training with a rotation among the best in the league.
"You're losing an ace," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "It's not something you can replace overnight. I would also say we have four quality pitchers. It's not exactly like we have no bullets left."
Tommy John surgery reconstructs the ulnar collateral ligament, replacing it with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. The procedure requires months of recovery. It's named after the pitcher who, in 1974, became the first professional athlete to successfully have had the operation.