Wainwright lobbying for Mujica to earn All-Star invite
The showcase that is the All-Star Game will be played one week from tonight. Whether Adam Wainwright will pitch — or even make himself available to pitch — remains unanswered.
After leading the Cardinals to a 9-5 win on Tuesday, Wainwright said that he still has not made any concrete decision about how he plans to handle his placement on the All-Star team. He has two options:
A. Wainwright can take himself off the active roster, choosing not to be available to pitch since he is starting on Sunday, two days before the All-Star Game. He’d still be able to participate in all the All-Star festivities and would do so.
B. Wainwright can make himself available to pitch a maximum of one inning in the All-Star Game.
Wainwright has said he would like to pitch, but he’s also seemed hesitant to assert that such a route would be best for him and the Cardinals. On Tuesday, he offered what he sees as the best option of all. He could choose not to pitch and in his place Edward Mujica would be named an All-Star.
Said Wainwright: “I don’t know how to make that decision other than to say that 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. 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.
“I’m going to get an extra start before the break, too. In my mind, I’m a little conscious of being smart for the second half of the season. 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.”
Wainwright clearly hopes manager Bruce Bochy is reading (or listening). Mujica’s All-Star credentials are legitimate. He recorded save No. 24 on Tuesday and has failed in only one opportunity. The other NL relievers to make the All-Star team were Jason Grilli (28 saves), Craig Kimbrel (24 saves)and Aroldis Chapman (20 saves).
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