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Future Uncertain for Cardinals Ace Carpenter

GM John Mozeliak not optimistic that St. Louis’ ace will take the mound at all in 2013


St. Louis Cardinals hats & merchandise For those who have followed St. Louis Cardinals baseball for the past nine years, the news that Chris Carpenter is injured again may not be that much of a surprise. The oft-injured ace of the Cardinals’ staff has missed significant time over the past several seasons, including almost all of the 2012 campaign. It appears that the 2013 season will be a mirror image of that as Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak has tweeted that he does not expect Carpenter to pitch at all this year for his ball club.

Carpenter broke out with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the bulk of his Major-League career has been spent with the Cardinals. In nine seasons in St. Louis, the right-hander has posted a 95-44 record with a 3.07 ERA and has earned himself 1,085 strike outs. His best season overall came in 2005, when he won 21 games for the ball club and earned himself a Cy Young award, the only one of his career. When healthy, Carpenter is an innings eater, topping 220 innings in four different MLB seasons. When he’s not healthy, he usually misses most of the year, as in three separate seasons he has pitched in 20 innings or less.

While this set-back could force some pitchers to consider retirement, Carpenter is resilient, and will likely be placed on the disabled list for the season. When Carpenter returned last year, he made three starts at the end of the season, and then went 1-2 in the post season posting a 2.63 ERA. If Carpenter retires, he will forfeit $12.5 million in salary owed to him this year as he is under contract with St. Louis through the end of the 2013 campaign. At 37-years old, it is unlikely that Carpenter will ever get that kind of money as a free agent, so he will likely sit this season out on the DL and collect his money, then evaluate his options in the offseason when he becomes a free agent. With the amount of time he has missed, he won’t be offered that kind of money, but a team is likely to take a chance on him to give some veteran presence to their rotation, albeit for no more than $2 to $3 million.



By: Robert Gonzalez Staff Writer