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St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Hurlers Who Must Pick Up the Slack for Chris Carpenter

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St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Hurlers Who Must Pick Up the Slack for Chris Carpenter
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Chris Carpenter is out indefinitely with a nerve ailment in his throwing shoulder.

The defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals have seen this story before: Ace pitcher Chris Carpenter has once again been bit by the injury bug.

So, which Cardinals pitchers will step up to fill the void?

Since joining the Cardinals in 2003, Carpenter has missed significant time with numerous injuries. The 2005 National League Cy Young Award winner pitched a total of 273.1 innings during the regular season and playoffs in 2011, anchoring the staff while winning his second title in St. Louis.

In the past, other Cardinals pitchers have rallied in Carpenter's absence to keep St. Louis on the right track. The pitching depth is one of the reasons that the Cardinals have been one of the more consistent franchises in Major League Baseball during the past decade.

In 2004, for instance, Carpenter was 15-5 with a 3.46 ERA before experiencing a nerve problem in his right biceps. He was placed on the disabled list in September and missed the entire postseason; however, St. Louis survived behind starters Matt Morris, Woody Williams and Jeff Suppan to make a run to the World Series.

While this year's squad, with the loss of Albert Pujols, may not be as talented as the '04 team, the recipe for success is the same as it has been in the past for St. Louis: They must rely on the team's other pitchers to collectively make up for the loss of Carpenter. 

The starting pitchers have stepped their game up before, and they are going to have to do it again if St. Louis wants to compete in the National League Central Division. Here are five hurlers who have to pick up the slack in Carpenter's absence.

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