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Chris Carpenter looks good, preparing to return as a starter

Sep 4, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

chris carpenter ap AP

Not only is Chris Carpenter hoping to pitch this season after making a remarkably fast recovery from July surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, the former Cy Young winner is preparing to return as a starter rather than simply trying to get some innings in out of the Cardinals’ bullpen.

Here’s what general manager John Mozeliak told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com about Carpenter’s status:

Given the guys we have now in our bullpen, you can see some sort of piggyback scenario if it worked out that way. He has to build up his pitch count. Given the fact he hasn’t been able to throw much prior to surgery, he does feel good. It looks like he’s on track to contribute. We’re hopeful that’s what happens. When you look at how Carp was throwing, it was screaming that this deserved an opportunity for consideration. It was really what he was doing [that] allowed us to sort of rethink it.

In other words Carpenter has looked really good throwing bullpen sessions and live batting practice, which is one helluva change from the initial belief that he’d definitely miss all of this season and might not be ready to begin 2013 on the active roster.

Of course, it’s a long way from “looks good throwing on the side” to “looks good enough to trust starting games in a pennant race” but so far so good.

  1. blues1988 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    man the cardinals are famous for making stupid moves when it comes to our players’ health (i.e. berkman, jaime garcia, many others that are escaping me right now). so i really hope that if we’re bringing him back its not premature, the last thing we need for our organization is for carpenter to be hurt for the long run. i know he’s a tough guy but lets make sure he’s completely healthy before he makes a comeback.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      ” many others that are escaping me right now”

      The biggest one that comes to my mind was the ridiculous Mark Mulder debacle.

      2006: Goes on DL in late June
      Returns from DL in late August. Makes 2 starts. Goes back on DL

      2007: Returns from DL Early September. Back on DL after 3 appearances

      2008: Returns from DL late June. Makes 3 appearances and goes back on DL.

  2. stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    If healthy…I like the idea of using him in long relief. This option would be far less taxing on a shoulder, arm, elbow, etc… that hasn’t really thrown the ball since last year.

  3. Nick C - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Carp is a medical miracle. He’s overcome 2 labrum shoulder surgeries, 2 elbow surgeries and now TOS surgery. No one comes back from labrum surgery with anything close to their previous stuff…except Carpenter. The unbelievable will and persistence it takes to come back from these continued ailments is a testament to him as a player and person.

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