Carpenter is coming off surgery to fix his thoracic outlet syndrome, which many expected would have prevented him from pitching at all this season.
But the Cardinals ace surprisingly returned to the mound on Friday in a 5-4 loss in extra innings against the Chicago Cubs.
Given the Cardinals’ current position, Chris Carpenter should find himself dominating every game he pitches sooner rather than later.
Since Chris Carpenter is once again being acclimated to the pitching rotation, it would be wise of St. Louis to place him in the No. 3 spot.
According to ESPN, Carpenter has an ERA of 3.60 in his one game returning from injury, which makes him a viable third option in the rotation, if not an exciting one.
He would be joining the likes of Adam Wainwright and current Cy Young contender Kyle Lohse, who have ERAs of 4.02 and 2.77, respectively.
If the St. Louis Cardinals are able to secure the wild-card berth, then having a healthy Chris Carpenter would prove to be a premium.
Carpenter went 4-0 in the 2011 postseason, according to The Washington Post.
In fact, the last meaningful game he pitched prior to his season debut on Friday was Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.
The Cardinals will welcome this type of production with open arms considering how inconsistent the team has played throughout the 2012 regular season.
He may be the difference between an early exit and a chance to repeat.
Even though the Cardinals' potential rotation can be dangerous, the lack of scoring to balance out their pitching may ruin their chances to win, as it has throughout the season.
Against the Cubs last Friday, St. Louis was only able to score one run with the bases loaded in the second inning.
Unless they're able to balance out their stellar pitching rotation with adequate hitting, then Chris Carpenter’s return late in the 2012 season may be in vain, especially if they lose the wild card in the process.