Joe Strauss has reported on STLtoday.com that Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa "voiced confidence in Chris Carpenter's fitness a day after the 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner endured a three-inning outing, one of his three shortest starts as a Cardinal." Hmmm, how do I take this.
It doesn't take much to remember the last time we heard an injury to a vital Cardinal starter was no big deal. Ludwick's calf is not even history yet. Neither is Brad Penny's shoulder. They're both on the DL currently (and we're praying that they come back healthy). Troy Glaus' shoulder should heal up fine by May 2009 - right? Kyle Lohse's forearm was completely healed after the past off-season. And back on April 10, 2007, an ESPN article had this wonderful piece of prophesy:
According to a statement issued by the team, there was no evidence of an acute ligament injury -- a problem that would have required surgery and likely would have finished Carpenter's season.It was "an acute ligament injury" and it did finish him for basically 2 seasons. I could research more of these injury misinformational official statements, but why waste time when even the most casual Redbird fan is already saying, "Scott Rolen's shoulder" or "Mark Mulder's arm-slot". There is a pattern here.
What raises my antennae about Carpenter is his poor showing in the first start after taking a line drive off his pitching forearm. Last year, Kyle Lohse's problems first surfaced after being hit by a pitch on his right forearm on May 23rd. Lohse had 2 DL stints last year, and never regained the stuff he had in the first two months last year. This year, he complained to Derrick Goold that "I don’t feel like anything is wrong, it’s just I keep missing up in the zone. I keep looking for something mechanically." Sound like TLR on Carp yesterday? Uh huh. Yep.
I care not to panic, but I cannot disregard what is a clear trend over the past few years. All these might just be cases of LaRussa's optimism and romanticism of the toughness of baseball players. Or this trend could simply be repeated misdiagnosis by Head Team Physician Dr George Paletta and Head Trainer Barry Weinberg. But they all have come under the ownership of Bill DeWitt - either with Walt Jocketty or John Mozeliak as GM . Perhaps he learned a thing or two about diverting away from the truth from his good friend George W. Bush. Getting to the heart of the matter with Cardinal injuries has become as tiring as getting hard facts from the lesser Bush's administration during the build up to the Iraqi War.
Whether through ineptitude or truthiness, I will have to take these pronouncements from the club with a sizeable grain of salt (as big as Fredbird). But all will be fine if Mr. Carpenter's next start is as sharp as Waino's was.
Share your horror stories about Cardinal injuries in recent memory by leaving a comment. Or tell me how off-base I am. But please Stand for Stan.