If you're a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, that's probably one headline you did not want to see. But on Tuesday, the Cards were slapped with the harsh possibility that right-hander Chris Carpenter will likely miss the 2013 season, and could be done pitching altogether.
During a media conference on Tuesday at Busch Stadium, the St. Louis seems to be prepared to move on without Carpenter. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak had to break the news, noting that the same injuries that slammed the door on last year have returned.
Based on how he feels and the reaction that he's getting from when he throws, it's very unlikely that he's going to pitch for us in the 2013 season.
Carpenter had barely started on his preparations for the coming year, when everything seemingly fell apart. After just three bullpen sessions, the 38-year old pitcher started to feel numbness and discomfort in his right shoulder and neck. He was also experiencing discoloration and bruising in his throwing hand.
These were the same problems that plagued Carpenter last year, and shut him down shortly after Spring Training started. After seeing a team of doctors, he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and underwent surgery in mid-July to relieve the problem. The procedure, which involved removing one of his ribs, was done with intent on removing pressure from the nerve.
Even as recently as January 19, Carpenter said he felt good. He felt prepared and was ready to take the mound to help the Cardinals have a successful season. During Cardinals Winter Camp, he seemed excited about getting started.
I haven't had any issues with my throwing or anything this year. I feel good and my shoulder feels good. I'm looking forward to getting down there to camp early and getting started.
Carpenter is not expected to be at Spring Training or if he'll be around the team clubhouse this season. Moziak stated that the pitcher would see the team's medical staff in the coming days to get reevaluated.