While not the worst case scenario, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak just informed the assembled media and live streaming world that, because of numbness, “stingers” and assorted pain experienced during his recent bullpen sessions, it looks extremely unlikely that Chris Carpenter pitches for the Cardinals in 2013.
Mozeliak stressed that Carpenter will have an opportunity to work with the Cardinals team physicians and but, when asked if he envisioned Carpenter returning, Mozeliak stated he believed not. Though Mo and the Cardinals staff hasn’t spoken face to face with their former ace, he claimed Carpenter expressed disappointment that he “let the team down” and sounded emotional during their call.
The concern at this point, according to Mozeliak and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny believe the greatest concern is Carpenter’s after-career life. The Cardinals will surely miss Carpenter’s leadership and all-around awesomeness though the team is pretty much loaded with talent on the hill, with top prospects Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal poised to take on bigger roles with the club not to mention serviceable pitcher Joe Kelly waiting on the depth chart. Mozeliak claims the team feels good about what they have in-house, all but quashing rumors linking the Cardinals and free agent Kyle Lohse.
Mozeliak casually mentions that Carpenter is likely to end up on the Cardinals disabled list, preventing the $12.5 million remaining on his contract from going by the wayside. Carpenter will not address the media for some time as this news is “still fresh” and, obviously, difficult to take.
Chris Carpenter, as you might recall, missed most of 2012 after a surgical procedure realted to his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The surgery removed one of his ribs (!) to reduce pressure on his shoulder nerves. Big Carp made three regular season starts before making three more starts in the post-season, all of which were quite poor by Carpenter’s standard.
Chris Carpenter came all the way back from numerous scary injuries, winning two World Series titles and one Cy Young in his well decorated career. If he is finished, he had a hell of a career and was a great pleasure to watch. Heal well, Big Carp.