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Cardinals say Wainwright is OK, but should we believe them?

The St. Louis Cardinals claim that their ace has dodged a bullet after an MRI showed no structural damage in the pitching elbow of Adam Wainwright.

But pardon me if I don't stop holding my breath just yet.

While the portrayal was rosy, weren't we told that fellow starting pitcher Joe Kelly was only going to miss a start or two after he tweaked his hamstring a month and a half ago?

In reports about the injury it was revealed that the 32-year-old war horse has pitched through tendonitis much of this season as well as a variety of other health maladies that have kept Wainwright from feeling 100 percent. When you're trying to throw a little ball 95 miles an hour 100 times an outing, if your body starts barking, it might be best to listen to what it's saying.

Wainwright is the kind of guy who is going to do anything he can to be on the mound. But the Cardinals, at the very least, need to take advantage of the day off Thursday and let Wainwright miss a turn. If he isn't ready to go then, the team shouldn't be shy about putting the ace on the disabled list.

It's hard to imagine this club having a chance without Wainwright in the mix. And the Cardinals, minus the ace, will only be Jaime Garcia's shoulder away from being two starting pitchers down.