Cards to move on without Carpenter
By now, you all have likely heard the news, news big enough to prompt the Cardinals to call a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. At that gathering, general manager John Mozeliak revealed that Chris Carpenter has had to stop throwing due to recurring numbness and discomfort in his right shoulder/back/neck. The symptoms are the same ones that shut Carpenter down last spring.
And then there was the reality of all this:
Carpenter isn’t expected to pitch in 2013.
He’ll likely never pitch for the Cardinals again.
A betting man would wager that Carpenter’s career is over, too, though Carpenter likely won’t announce his retirement until after he collects the $12.5 million he’s owed this season.
The news elicited plenty of reflection on Carpenter’s career, which reached its pinnacle in St. Louis. The Cardinals will fill the rotation void — they have to — but they will not replace Carpenter. To have someone who is that talented, that driven, with that work ethic and that desire to impart it on others is so rare that it’s hard to find a suitable comparison to another active pitcher.
But the Cardinals do have to hope that some of their young pitchers step up in big ways to help mitigate the loss. Assuming the Cardinals do not look outside for additional help, some combination of Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal will fill the team’s last two rotation spots. That rotation battle will certainly add a new wrinkle to Cardinals Spring Training, which was expected to involve minimal roster competition.
For now, let me leave with you with a guide to today’s links, all of which focus on another part of this recent development for the organization:
- Here’s the main story, with information about what went wrong during Carpenter’s recent bullpen sessions and how that affects his future.
- Who will fill the Cardinals’ rotation hole? Here is a more in-depth look at the options.
- Several other NL Central executives weighed in on the news.
- Columnist (and former Cardinals beat writer) Matthew Leach wrote about Carpenter’s legacy and the impossibility of going about replacing the right-hander.
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