adam-wainwright-2-st-louis-cardinals-092022

Sep 20, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Wainwright will begin his final major league season by representing his home country in the World Baseball Classic.

The 41-year-old right-hander, who announced in October that he will return to the St. Louis Cardinals for one final season in 2023, was named to the Team USA roster on Tuesday.

Wainwright, who will be pitching in his first WBC, joins a United States roster that already includes Cardinals teammates Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. While Team USA is still solidifying its rotation, Wainwright is the most accomplished starter so far to commit to pitch for the defending WBC champions. The 17-year veteran is a three-time All-Star and has 195 wins and a 3.38 ERA over 457 career appearances.

Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. and Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly have also committed to Team USA. The United States will begin play on March 11 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Meanwhile, with Wainwright likely to miss a solid chunk of spring training, the Cardinals should be able to give more Grapefruit League innings to intriguing starting prospects such as Gordon Graceffo, Matthew Liberatore and Connor Thomas.