Skip to content

Chris Carpenter will not pitch in 2013 and is considering retirement

Feb 5, 2013, 2:30 PM EST

chris carpenter getty Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals just announced in a press conference that it is “very unlikely” that Chris Carpenter will pitch in the 2013 season after suffering physical setbacks during his offseason throwing program.

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a few minutes ago, Carpenter said earlier this winter that, if he suffered such setbacks, he would not attempt to rehab and come back and would likely retire. That said, Mozeliak just noted that the subject of retirement did not come up in his most recent talk with Carpenter. It’s also worth noting that Carpenter is in the final year of his contract with the Cardinals and is owed $12.5 million for 2013 if he does not retire.

General Manager John Mozeliak said that the issue is continuing numbness and “zingers” in his shoulder and neck, much like what he suffered last year.  Mozeliak says that his role going forward will as a “cheeleader” and a “mentor” but that he will not be pitching.

Carpenter’s career was often brilliant but just as often plagued by injury. Coming up with the Blue Jays, Carpenter missed ample time with various ailments, including shoulder trouble that effectively ended his time there. He finishined his career with the Jays with a 49-50 record in 152 games spread over six seasons. The Cardinals signed him before the 2003 season.

After missing all of 2003 with a torn labrum, he won 15 games in 2004. In 2005 he won 21 games posted an ERA of 2.83 and won the Cy Young Award.  He won 15 again in 2006, finishing third in the Cy Young race, but then the injuries came back to haunt him anew. He made one start in 2007 before being sidelined with bone spurs. While attempting to come back from that he tore his UCL requiring Tommy John surgery. 2007 and almost all of 2008 were a loss.

Back to form in 2009, Carpenter won 17 games, led the league in ERA and finished second in the Cy Young balloting. He threw 235 innings in 2010 and 237.1 innings in 2011, leading the league in starts each year. In Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, Carpenter pitched six innings on three days rest, leading the Cardinals to a 6–2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Carpenter missed most of 2012 following midseason surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He came back in September and pitched in the postseason.  But, in light of today’s news, that may very well be the end.

If it is the end, Carpenter finishes his career with a record of 144-94 and and ERA of 3.76 in 350 games, 332 of which came as a starter. He threw 2219.1 innings striking out 1697 batters while walking 627.  In the postseason he was 10-4, 3.00 with a K/BB ratio of 68/36 in 108 innings. He’s a three time All-Star, a Cy Young Winner and the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year.

Injuries often preclude greatness. It’s not often that you find a player who was plagued by injuries but, those injuries notwithstanding, can still be called great.  I think Chris Carpenter qualifies.  When he was healthy, he was a wonderful pitcher.  If he had remained healthy, we’d be talking about him as a potential Hall of Famer.  Some things, however, are just not to be.

Latest Posts
  1. Johan Santana’s deal with the Blue Jays has an April 28 opt-out clause

    Feb 27, 2015, 11:19 AM EST

    johan santana getty Getty Images

    If he’s called up to the majors Santana will get $2.5 million in guaranteed money.

  2. Aramis Ramirez says 2015 will be his last year

    Feb 27, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

    Aramis Ramirez Getty Images

    When he’s done he’ll have played 18 years in the bigs and will be pushing 400 homers.

  3. Royals are only looking at Joe Blanton as a reliever

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:47 AM EST

    Joe Blanton AP

    “The only way he is really going to help us is in the bullpen.”

  4. Bartolo Colon may be the Mets’ Opening Day starter

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:35 AM EST

    Bartolo Colon

    Yes, this is mostly just an excuse to post a picture of Bartolo Colon

  5. Giants sign Ronny Cedeno

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    Cedeno had a brief stint in the majors last season with the Phillies.

  6. Didi Gregorius is probably pretty grateful for the A-Rod circus

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:53 AM EST

    Didi Gregorious AP

    Everyone worried that A-Rod would be a “distraction.” Well, he has been. And that’s a good thing.

  7. We need Kafka to cover Yankees spring training

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:24 AM EST

    Kafka

    Cashman and Girardi were poked constantly yesterday. They eventually responded. And the media seems to believe this is A-Rod’s fault.

  8. Craig Kimbrel is messing with a changeup

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 8.24.38 AM AP

    Because he wasn’t dominant enough as it was.

  9. Report: Josh Hamilton could get a suspension of “at least 25 games”

    Feb 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    But Major League Baseball is also trying to be “compassionate,” and is thus still not close to a decision.

  10. Wanna hear Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig attempt a comedy routine?

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:41 AM EST

    Ruth Gehrig

    Gehrig on going to Columbia: “I was seven years in the Freshman class!”

  11. Mets don’t intend to talk extension with Daniel Murphy

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:02 PM EST

    Daniel Murphy AP AP

    While Daniel Murphy would like to discuss a contract extension with the Mets, it looks like a foregone conclusion that he will test free agency after the 2015 season.

  12. Nick Markakis apologizes for his comments regarding contract talks with the Orioles

    Feb 26, 2015, 9:49 PM EST

    Nick Markakis AP AP

    Braves outfielder Nick Markakis recently expressed frustration about how contract talks with the Orioles broke down over the winter.

  13. Shane Victorino is ready to go back to switch-hitting

    Feb 26, 2015, 8:40 PM EST

    Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

    Victorino gave up hitting from the left side late in 2013, but he’s ready to give it another shot.

  14. Matt Harvey tentatively scheduled to make spring debut on March 6

    Feb 26, 2015, 7:15 PM EST

    Matt Harvey AP AP

    It will be Harvey’s first game action since he underwent Tommy John surgery 16 months ago.

  15. Blue Jays sign Johan Santana

    Feb 26, 2015, 6:06 PM EST

    Johan Santana Getty Getty Images

    Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to injury.

  16. Barry Zito on his one-year retirement: “You want to be back in that game so bad”

    Feb 26, 2015, 5:17 PM EST

    Barry Zito Getty Images

    “I think hanging it up is going to be harder for guys than they realize, after being out of it for a year.”

  17. What’s driving the A-Rod media circus? The media, of course.

    Feb 26, 2015, 2:06 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    Shame on A-Rod for making the reporters obsess about him.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4572)
  2. Y. Moncada (4174)
  3. Z. Greinke (3720)
  4. F. Rodriguez (3691)
  5. M. Harvey (3659)
  1. E. Cabrera (2893)
  2. B. Beachy (2605)
  3. A. Gordon (2526)
  4. B. Moss (2458)
  5. A. Beltre (2409)