Adam Wainwright is headed to the disabled list with discomfort in his right elbow.
The Cardinals did not immediately make a corresponding roster move but are expected to recall top pitching prospect Jack Flaherty, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Monday, when Wainwright’s spot in the rotation comes up.
Flaherty, 22, started two games for the Cardinals this season. He’s 0-1 with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings. Flaherty is 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Memphis.
Wainwright had been out since April 23 due to inflammation in his right elbow. His elbow wasn’t right Sunday at San Diego, however, as he allowed two runs on three hits and issued a career-high six walks with three strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings.
His fastball topped out at 89 mph and was regularly in the 85-87 range with spotty command. Several of his off-speed pitches dipped below 70 mph. Wainwright held the Padres scoreless in the first two innings before allowing two runs in the third.
Afterward, Wainwright acknowledged that he will miss at least his next scheduled start and that he might land back on the DL as he seeks answers regarding the state of his elbow.
He will head back to St. Louis to be examined.
“I warmed up great and went out to pitch the first inning, and on the third-to-last warmup pitch, I re-aggravated it,” Wainwright said. “I was hoping I could just maintain that level where I was at, but each time I went back out there, it got harder and harder to get going.
“I just need a little something and I can go out and pitch, but (the elbow) just didn’t let me do it.”
Manager Mike Matheny added, “He fought all the way through, obviously. To say he didn’t have his good stuff isn’t even accurate. He was just trying to make things up to make it work, and amazingly the first two innings he got out of. But that’s not the pitcher that he is.”
Asked if he considered asking out of the game, Wainwright said, “In the second (inning), I considered it, and certainly in the third, I considered it, but it is really hard to pull yourself out, it’s not something I’ve ever done.
“Maybe I should have done it in the second and went to Mike and said, ‘Get somebody else in there.’ I don’t know. But I’d rather go out and fight and see what happens.”
The Cardinals trailed 2-0 when Wainwright left, and the Padres held on for a 5-3 win. With the loss, Wainwright fell to 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA in four starts this year.