Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is injured. The right-hander, during an attempt to come back to the Cardinals this season, experienced a setback this week with a back injury incurred while throwing a side bullpen session.
Unfortunately for Carpenter and the Cardinals, this news is anything but surprising. His career was basically declared as over during Spring Training, but Carpenter has persevered, and for a period of weeks, it seemed like he would be semi-likely to return this season. Any setback at this point in his return bid is a big one, but the fact that it’s a back injury is relatively encouraging.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak was quoted as saying that Carpenter’s injury isn’t “as serious as (we) first thought”, but it certainly quells the notion that he could appear before September or October. The consensus opinion for the former Cy Young award winner is that he would appear out of the bullpen (if anything), and the Cardinals have been plagued by injuries in that unit this year, including the huge blow of losing Jason Motte.
The days where Carpenter was a high-end “ace” are long over, but you can’t ignore a guy who has repeatedly come back from serious injury before. Especially when he has 2200+ Major League innings of quality baseball. Stay tuned.