chris carpenter cardinalsI almost cringe a bit at using the “schadenfreude” allusion there in the title, but it’s become a thing around here, so I don’t want to abandon it. For shame, I know.

The truth is, I actually feel bad that, today, the Cardinals and Chris Carpenter announced that Carpenter has hit a snag in his offseason throwing program, and is “very unlikely” to pitch for the team in 2013. Carpenter has dealt with a variety of arm issues in his career, and came back at the very end of 2012 after missing most of the season with a serious shoulder problem. He is apparently still experiencing numbness from that injury, and isn’t able to throw right now.

Although no one at the press conference today seems to be saying the word “retirement” just yet, it seems like it is very much on the table at this point. You could understand why Carpenter wouldn’t “retire” just yet – he’s owed $12.5 million through 2013. But, yeah, this feels like a de facto retirement.

The 37-year-old righty has been, when healthy, a critical part of the Cardinals’ rotation for their recent competitive stretch. Without him, the Cardinals’ rotation looks like this: Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia (who is of questionable long-term health), and Shelby Miller (who is a great prospect, but unproven). The Cards have a number of young arms that could step in, so losing Carpenter is far from a death blow. Must be nice to have a stockpile of Major League ready arms.┬áBut losing Carpenter undoubtedly hurts.

Will it push the Cardinals to re-engage Kyle Lohse? It seems like they could get by without him, but losing both he and Carpenter could leave them with an issue if they suffer another injury or two, even with their depth.

  • CubFan Paul

    Add the Cards to the Garza watch.

    a stockpile of Major League ready arms is all I (Theo&Co) needed to hear.

    • Marc N.

      Beyond the obvious guys to want from them, I would love to pry Tyrell Jenkins from them and get him paired up with Derek Johnson. Jenkins is a physical freak of a pitcher.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Carlos Martinez and Tyrell Jenkins for Garza

      • Marc N.

        Not enough, but it’s a start.

        • X The Cubs Fan

          Main pieces probably add Anthony Garcia and Patrick Wisdom

      • Kirbs414

        Do you guys really want to see the Cubs trade Garza to a division rival?

        • cjdubbya

          Hell to the no. With the voodoo magic, he’ll end up throwing two perfectos against the Cubs a year, and they’ll extend him til he’s 40 just for the lulz.

        • DarthHater

          If the return is good enough, couldn’t care less who gets him.

        • Norm

          If the best package came from inside the division, yes.

  • cjdubbya

    I’m torn. Respect the heck out of his ability, but I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the Cardinals. If there’s a way that he can come back and pitch well, but the Cardinals still lose every game in which he pitches, I’d be more than fine with that.

  • Marc N.

    Balls. Guy worked soooooooooo f’n hard to come back and be the pitcher he was after significant injuries to both his shoulder and elbow injuries. Plus he’s such an intense competitor and owner of my favorite two pitch combo out there (the groudball inducing two seamer to go with a curveball).

    • Marc N.

      His workouts btw on the shoulder are pretty legendary….Heard once that after every start he’s got three hours of work in the gym left to keep that arm alive.

  • Evolution

    If it helps mitigate any guilt…I did once hear that Carpenter shanked a guy in the prison laundry.

  • MoistassAlou

    I hate to see any pitcher have arm issues, but if someone has too it may as well be the Cradinals starters!!!

  • kgd

    To Carpenter: sorry to hear a well-respected pitcher experience this.

    To the Cardinals:

  • SouthernCub

    MUHAHAHAHA this is great news, sorry if this is insensitive in any way, but i just don’t give a shit.

  • Kyle

    I don’t feel bad. I only have so much capacity to feel bad about things (some would say not enough), and the elbow tweaks of professional athletes don’t trigger it. But the improved chances of my favorite sports team do make me happy.

    I hope every pitcher for every other team in our division gets a non-painful injury that doesn’t effect their life longterm but makes it impossible for them to pitch this season.

    • Internet Random

      Yeah, if he’s not in serious pain and he’s still getting paid, I won’t feel any worse about myself for not being too sorry about this.

  • 1060Ivy

    Effect on Cards season – Cards will win more 8-5 games than 8-2 games.

    Carpenter was a great pitcher but Cardinals have a number of young arms in their top rated system to get by without him.

    BTW, until an official “I’m retired” or “He’s dead” announcement, I never count out a Cardinals’ pitcher. Guess it’s something in the water. Yeah, the water.

    • md8232

      So you are saying there is Meth in the water?

  • mjhurdle

    Im probably in the minority, but living in the STL area has really made me not like Chris Carpenter.
    There is only so many times i can hear him complaining about batters looking at their HRs while in the same game acting like every strikeout was the closing strikeout to win the World Series. The way he would scream and yell from the dugout almost every game really just made him come across as a hypocritical baby.
    Just my opinion. And even though i don’t like him, i wouldn’t wish a career ending injury on anyone. Im just not that sad about it.

    • Richard Nose

      Wow I have thought the same thing for years about that dickhead. He can run balls in and hit batters, but the second somebody does it to him or a Cardinal he thinks it’s the end of the world. Screaming from the dugout, punk ass. That home run example is dead on. From the outside looking in, looks like he treats teammates like shit too. That Brendan Ryan deal, took him “out of the view of cameras” to bitch him out about a play he made, caught the whole thing on camera. Ryan’s a grown ass man (kinda) and Carpenter’s talking to him like he’s a child. He reminds me of some basketball players (Kobe, Duncan, etc.) who bitch about every call against them and want chippy shit in their favor.

  • clark addison

    The Cards have amazing depth in their pitching staff. Hope we can make that comment about the Cubs sometime soon.

  • mak

    I don’t remember any Cards fans lamenting the losses of Wood, Prior, etc. So, take it St. Louis!

  • Internet Random

    losing both he and Carpenter

    You know better than that.

  • hardtop

    its not about the man, its about the uniform he wears and the armpit he plays/lives in. the only bad news about carpenter moving on due to injury or age (or both) is it doesn’t really weaken the cardinals that much. the bad thing is that they are so deep, even if Theo does turn out to be a team building genius, its going to be tough to win this division in the years to come. And the new wild card system makes not winning this division quite risky. Really, who feels bad for older pitchers who’s careers end because of arm injuries? its like the only reason pitchers end their careers… its the norm.

  • Chad

    Oh, come on. Carpenter will be back by end of August. Even if they have to build him an undetectable bionic arm. He has this uncanny ability to get healthy just in time for the playoffs. I’ll believe he’s done when I see it. Despite being a division rival, he’s a damn good pitcher and I have immense respect for the guy (still hate him).

  • Spriggs

    Great news about Carpenter and Braun today. I’m a happy guy.

    • calicubsfan007

      Some temporary karma justice. FINALLY! (=

  • Stevie B

    I do consulting work periodically and I had a conference call yesterday. As I reached to pick up phone I saw area code (314)…and thought, damn, Cardinal country.
    Yep, sure enough, this cat was a redbird fan.
    I may not be invited back to consult for these folks….

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Couldn’t have happened to a bigger jackass. Carpenter personified the Cardinals.
    Ultimate sense of arrogance and entitlement. And a complete and utter disrespect and lack of sportsmanship towards their opponents.
    When he screamed at Mike Napoli in the World Series, to go sit down you piece of shit, summed up his lack of respect for the game. Good riddance. He really wasn’t all that great over his entire 3.76 ERA career anyway.