April has ended. Baseball is no longer in its opening moments. The St. Louis Cardinals are holding onto a 12-12 win/loss record as they round the bend and enter May. With 24 games behind them, the Cards have come out of a slow start in the early days to finish up strong, winning six of their last eight games.

The team has created plenty of on-field excitement - an extra inning walk-off home run, a ridiculous pick-off play like none other before, a flying home plate act - but the greatest excitement brewing in this midwest clubhouse is being created by its long term go-to pitcher, Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright steps up to bat and the fun begins

Waino is no slouch to hitting. Playing in the National League has meant that he has routinely been expected to hit and hopefully hit well. His career Batting Average, extending back to 2005, sits at .203. If his highest average (.500) and his lowest average (.000) are tossed aside, his career batting average bumps up to .225, which is more than just respectable for a pitcher.

His five 2017 spring starts include 10 at-bats, four hits, one home run, and four RBIs. With a bat in his hand, Wainwright is red hot. Two years ago, he had seven starts with no hits. He is two years older, has had more injuries, and has become a welcome addition to the Cardinals offense.

The pitcher who bats

Wainwright's average currently ranks ninth among all pitchers in the National League. Only he and the D-backs' Robbie Ray have been up to bat at least 10 times. Only Wainwright has blasted a homer and only Wainwright has four RBIs. The rest of the leaders have either goose eggs or goose eggs plus one in the RBI category.

Both the fan and management expectations for pitchers while at bat is excessively low. And the 2017 season may be Wainwright's opportunity to successfully battle for the coveted Silver Slugger award. It was captured last year by the Cubs' Jake Arrieta, whose .262 final batting average was blistering high.

This year, however, Arrieta's stat is hovering around .182 with no home runs and only one RBI. If both players continue on their current trajectories, Waino will walk away a hands down slugging winner.

It's early, with a long season ahead. However, Wainwright has already batted in a sixth of the total games batted in during 2016. If his pace of play continues, he could easily post similar numbers during the month of May - which would give him the opportunity to become a batting superstar for the St. Louis Cardinals.

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