Matheny said the pitcher will continue to work out, but that those work outs would take place outside of game situations. The manager also said the biggest change would be in the number of spring starts the right hander makes.
The change in Wainwright's workload may also extend into the regular season, the Associated Press writes.
Wainwright made five starts during the spring ahead of last season. The 33-year-old said he would likely be ready for the regular season opener with four spring starts, but was skeptical of how sharp he would be if he only took the mound three times ahead of the Cardinals' season opener against the Chicago Cubs on April 5.
Wainwright suggested that fewer starts could negatively affect the team's playoff chances.
"As long as we are talking about limiting starts now and not in the regular season I'm fine with it," said Wainwright. "If I take starts off we may not get to the postseason...And getting there, to me, seems pretty important."
Wainwright had a 20-9 record last season. He noted that the team won the NL Central by two games, meaning, he said, that each of his starts counted.
He has averaged 222 innings over the last three years, and after the end of the the 2014 season he had surgery to take torn cartilage out of his right elbow.
The right hander has spent each of his nine major league seasons with the Cardinals, and recorded 20-win seasons in 2010 and last year. He has a career 3.01 ERA with a 119-66 record in 280 games.
The Cardinals finished last season with a 90-72 record and in first place in the NL Central. The team was eliminated from the playoffs in the NL Championship Series by the San Francisco Giants.