On April 27, Chris Carpenter will turn 38 years old. His major league career appears to be on its final legs, but on Tuesday Cardinal fans found out that the retirement may come sooner rather than later.
It was reported by Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak on Tuesday that Carpenter is still feeling discomfort in his arm and it is "very unlikely he will pitch in 2013."
Now the question is: Will we ever see Carpenter pitch again?
Carpenter only started three games at the end of last season for the Cardinals. In those games, he went 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA and had 12 strikeouts. He missed the majority of the season because of nerve damage in his arm.
Carpenter has had a history of arm problems in the past as well. He had to have Tommy John surgery after hurting his arm on opening day in 2007. He missed all the rest of the 2007 season recovering from that surgery. He tried to make a return in 2008, but could only start three games and pitch 15.1 innings that season.
Carpenter made a full return in 2009. He pitched 192.2 innings and went 17-4 with a 2.24 ERA and helped lead St. Louis to the playoffs. In 2010, he pitched 235 innings, going 16-9 with a 3.22 ERA. Then, in 2011, Carpenter threw 237.1 innings for the Redbirds, recorded a 3.45 ERA and had a record of 11-9.
The numbers were not as good in 2011 for Carpenter, but he came up with some big starts in the postseason, including a complete game shutout against the Phillies in Game 5 of the NLDS and a Game 7 win against the Rangers to help clinch the World Series.
Chris Carpenter has had an amazing career with the St. Louis Cardinals, culminating in a 2005 National League Cy Young Award and two World Series championships.
Hopefully, Carpenter can make a return to the game one day, but the future does not look bright. If this is the end for Carp, it has been an outstanding 14 year career.