Carpenter Will Not Pitch in 2013, Career in Doubt
In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, general manager John Mozeliak, accompanied by manager Mike Matheny, made the announcement.
Mozeliak said Chris Carpenter has experienced renewed discomfort in regard to the condition that cost him most of 2012.
Carpenter contacted the Cardinals on Friday of last week and informed the team that after numerous attempts at throwing bullpen sessions. He was experiencing the same issues with some additional quirks.
Mozeliak reported Carpenter has experienced bruising and redness in his shoulder and hand after throwing.
Carpenter was diagnosed in 2012 with thoracic outlet syndrome. He underwent mid-season and made a rather improbable comeback in time to pitch in the playoffs.
As recently as the Winter Warm-up, Carpenter told reporters that he felt optimistic and had started prepping early.
Mozeliak said Carpenter was clearly not happy about having to make the move, but he felt there was no choice.
“He was definitely teary eyed,” he said. “[Carpenter] felt like to some degree he was letting us down.”
Despite that, Mozeliak told reporters that Carpenter believed he needed to be sure that whatever is going on is not going to prevent him from having “a normal after-career life.”
When asked to characterize Chris Carpenter, Mozeliak used one word: passion.
“He’s one of the most competitive players I’ve ever been around,” he said. “[Carpenter] truly willed himself to want to win. I’ll always admire that about him.”
Can the Cardinals win without Chris Carpenter?
Matheny touted his “intimidating presence” and added that Carpenter really has “a lot coming crashing down on him at one time.”
While the immediate reaction was disappointment from Mozeliak and Matheny, they made it clear that the team is still ready to compete in the spring.
“After you get over the pity party of not having someone, you have to move on,” Mozeliak told reporters.
Mozeliak said that while many questioned the Cardinals' lack of big off-season moves, he felt it was the best route to take.
Having not traded off pitching prospects for an additional shortstop gives the Cardinals a better crop of pitchers help fill the Carpenter void.
“There’s going to be some opportunities for some younger pitchers to contribute,” Mozeliak said, noting that there would be lots of work to do once they arrive in Jupiter, Fla. for Spring Training.
Matheny said he expects to see Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, Jr. and Trevor Rosenthal all gunning for the new spot in the rotation.
When asked about whether departing free agent Kyle Lohse was an option, he said he didn’t want to discuss individual free agent options.
Despite missing nearly five years due to injury, he’s made a lasting impression on the Cardinals organization. Carpenter has compiled 144 career wins and is the only Cardinal aside from Bob Gibson to win a Cy Young Award.
His 1085 career strikeouts are only 10 behind Dizzy Dean who holds the second spot among Cardinals.
He is fifth on the Cardinals all-time WHIP list with a 1.12 ahead of names like Dean and Gibson.
He is most well-known for his bulldog mentality on the field and for his 2011 postseason run that carried the Cardinals all the way through the World Series.
Mozeliak said Carpenter, who was not at the press conference, wanted to “get all of his ducks in a row” before speaking to the media.
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