Team USA will make its debut in the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Saturday, March 11. The defending champions will face Great Britain, who is making its first appearance in the global tournament. Team USA will send St. Louis Cardinals veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright to the mound.
The 41-year-old Wainwright is gearing up to play in his 18th season. He has experienced a downgrade in his velocity, likely making this the final season of his career. Despite a rocky start to the spring, Waino is one of the few pitchers that could benefit from the interruption caused by the WBC. There is no pitch clock, so he can set into a rhythm. Wainwright also should benefit from taking on Great Britain as they present as the easiest opponent in Pool C.
Wainwright pitched 32 games last season and had a 3.71 ERA. He struck out 143 batters in 191.2 innings of work. Wainwright will pitch this season without veteran catcher Yadier Molina, yet another adjustment he must make. He looked like he pulled one over on Father Time in 2021 with a 3.05 ERA and 174 punchouts in 206.1 innings of work. The step back last season and this spring have shown his age, but Waino will look to use this WBC outing to build momentum for the regular season.