Shut Carp down – now

by on August 13, 2008 · 4 comments

The news at ESPN.com is that and MRI has revealed that Chris Carpenter has a strain in his pitching *shoulder*, not a triceps strain as previously thought and reported.

LaRussa and Duncan are already preparing to use either Brad Thompson or Jaime Garcia in Carpenter’s rotation slot on Friday.

In yet another setback for a Cardinal starting pitcher returning from injury, the Cards have a lot more on the line with this one.  Carp is owed $15M per season for the next three years, each of which they desperately need him to be their ace.  There is absolutely no reason to try and rush him back to pitching again this year.  In what is quickly becoming a floundering playoff push (I’m still optimistic, but cautiously so), the Cardinals need to protect their investment in the future years of Carp’s contract.  It even makes me cringe a little to read “…will rejoin his teammates in Florida, where he will receive treatment from the team’s medical staff.”  Great, so they’re going to let Dr Paletta(nother pitcher’s arm implode) work on him.  Fabulous.

In a sick twist, this has at least brought the Cardinals’ brass to their senses regarding Adam Wainwright, according to STLToday.com.  Waino’s next rehab start is being pushed back to Saturday, where he will pitch for AA Springfield (not Memphis, as in his previous two outings) and get in 65-70 pitches.  This is good news, in my book.  However, the yo-yo-ing continues with this team.  Is he going to pitch in relief or start?  I realize situations are dictating responses in this case, but the guy has to get in the right mental state to know when and how he needs to pitch.  Sure, I give the benefit of the doubt to Wainwright and his mental strength and testicular fortitude, versus say a Joel Pineiro or even a Kyle Lohse, but I reckon it’d be helpful for him to know one way or another.  Hell, it’s probably even better for his arm if he prepares specifically one way or another.

The Cardinals, for better or worse, put their eggs in the Carpenter/Wainwright basket at the trade deadline.  Unlike a lot of Cards fans, I wasn’t terribly disappointed at the deadline, I think they were just being realistic about the capital they had to use in a trade, and where this team is headed for the next five seasons.

But if that was their excuse then, it has to be their approach now.  Don’t make a Mark Mulder story out of Carp, who has a history with his shoulder as it is.  Shut him down and hope that the rest of the Cardinals can pick up the slack.  After all, they’ve done it all season…

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Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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