Adam Wainwright was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 1st round (29th pick) of the 2000 amateur draft. (On December 13, 2003, he was traded by the Atlanta Braves with Ray King and Jason Marquis to the St. Louis Cardinals for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero.)
From 2000 through 2005, Wainwright was a starting pitcher in the minor leagues – just as he was in High School.
In 2006, because of need, the St. Louis Cardinals had Wainwright pitch out of their bullpen. However, the next year – last season – Adam Wainwright, at the age of 25, was returned to a starting role. And, Adam has been one of the better starting pitchers in the N.L. over the last two seasons.
Joba Chamberlain was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (41st pick) of the 2006 amateur draft. Last season, in the minors, Chamberlain was a starting pitcher for the Yankees – just as he was in college.
Late last season, out of need, the New York Yankees had Chamberlain pitch out of their bullpen – where he has remained to date. However, now, the Yankees want to have Joba return to a starting role – at the age of 22.
St. Lous is a huge baseball town. It’s one of the few cities in America where baseball is the primary interest of sports fans. Why is it that there’s so much debate, locally and nationally, as to whether or not the Yankees are doing the right thing with Joba Chamberlain when there was not nearly as much attention paid to the Cardinals’ call to have Adam Wainwright go from starter to reliever and back to starter?
Both were/are young uber-prospects, former first-round selections, playing on winning teams in big baseball markets. Is there really any difference between the two? Just some food for thought…that some people are making the Joba switch into a much bigger deal than it should be…given some reflection on the Cards recent handling of Wainwright and the attention given to that move.