Now, after a miraculous recovery from what was supposed to be season-ending surgery, Carpenter appears ready to contribute to the Cardinals' playoff run. The 37-year-old right-hander was sidelined due to thoracic outlet syndrome which caused numbness on the right side of his body.
Carpenter was hoping that surgery would aid him in a return during the 2013 season, but the outlook has quickly become even more optimistic. On September 4th, Carpenter threw a painless simulated game and is scheduled to throw another session on Monday.
If everything goes well, Carp could potentially make four starts during a key stretch for the Redbirds, according to Joe Strauss' article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
There is no question who has been the ace of the staff since Carpenter's arrival in St. Louis in 2004. Along with third baseman David Freese, Carpenter was a playoff hero last season, posting a 4-0 record with a 3.25 ERA, including a three-hit, complete-game shutout in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies—one of the best pitching performances in playoff history.
Carpenter's return would be huge for the Cardinals' playoffs chances this season. Here is why he will still be a dominant pitcher.