Clouds of doubt continue hovering over St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, as the club announced yesterday that the right-hander was returning to St. Louis to have his neck further examined by specialists. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss, Carpenter experienced “renewed symptoms associated with a bulging cervical disc”. Due to Carpenter’s lingering neck ailment, the Cardinals made it clear the veteran would not take the mound Opening Day.
St. Louis said yesterday that Carpenter is dealing with “weakness” in his neck, shoulder and upper arm. At this point the team isn’t sure if Carpenter will be able to start the season healthy or if a trip to the disabled list will be required.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told reporters that he is concerned about Carpenter because it is now “unlikely” that he will start the season with the club. However, Mozeliak is encouraged because Carpenter has “had this in the past” and he’s “been able to pitch eventually”. St. Louis does not believe “anything surgical” will be required, but instead that Carpenter can rejoin the rotation after “rest or some sort of treatment program”.
With the regular season quickly approaching, Lance Lynn slides into Carpenter’s spot in the rotation. Kyle Lohse is slated to start Opening Day, with other members of St. Louis’s projected rotation including Jake Westbrook, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia.
With Carpenter’s injury, the Roy Oswalt-to-St. Louis rumors are already picking up speed. The Cardinals were one of Oswalt’s top choices, but the veteran seems comfortable waiting until mid-season to sign.
Based on what you know now, would you try and fill Carpenter’s spot in the rotation from within, or would you do whatever it takes to acquire Oswalt?
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