Wainwright, who finished second in the National League's Cy Young Award balloting last season, made the long drive to Fort Myers on Thursday and will get to pitch at home on Friday against the Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT. Wainwright will throw two innings, and Lance Lynn, the previously scheduled starter, will get his work as a reliever.
Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals still have plenty of time to manipulate the rotation and keep Wainwright on turn for the team's Opening Day game on March 31. St. Louis has two games on Friday -- the one at home and a split-squad game at Port St. Lucie against the Mets at 12:10 p.m. CT -- and an off-day on March 18.
"We'll be able to work around the schedule. It's still fine," said Matheny of his rotation. "We've had great weather so far, so anything can happen here going forward. But they'll still get their work."
Wainwright said that he couldn't ever recall taking a nearly three-hour bus trip and then getting rained out in big league Spring Training camp, but he said it won't really affect his preparation. Wainwright had a chance to stretch and get ready on Thursday, but the rain came before he took the field.
And that may have been a blessing. Wainwright didn't have to pitch in inclement weather and didn't have to wait through the mental rigors of a delay. The 32-year-old looks forward to getting back on turn Friday, and he doesn't think the change will have too much of an effect.
"To be honest with you, at this point, it really doesn't matter a whole lot," he said. "If we were talking about throwing five or six innings, it would be a whole lot different than 30 pitches. I'm slated every fifth day to get to the right day for the season. Messing up a day or two here now is really no issue."
Matheny agreed with that assessment, and he said it's only natural that the weather gets in the way at some point. Prior to Thursday, said Matheny, the Cardinals have had ideal conditions.
"Look at this spring: We haven't had any kind of delay at all or adjusted schedule," said Matheny. "We've had perfect weather. It's been all you could ask for. These days happen."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.