St. Louis, MO, United States (4E Sports) – St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter will miss the 2013 season due to recurrence of a nerve injury that could probably end his career, according to general manager John Mozeliak.
“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,” said Mozeliak, who joined manager Mike Matheny in making the announcement.
According to Mozeliak, several signs of a setback emerged last week when Carpenter began increasing his workload in preparation for the start of Spring Training.
During a series of three bullpen sessions, Carpenter, who will turn 38 in April, felt numbness and discomfort in his right shoulder and neck area aside from bruising and discoloration in his right hand.
Last year, doctors diagnosed Carpenter with thoracic outlet syndrome, and the right-hander underwent surgery on July 19 to address the issue. The procedure, which involved removing one of Carpenter’s ribs, was designed to remove pressure from the nerve.
Despite prognosis that he will be sidelined all of last season, Carpenter returned to pitch in September and October.
Carpenter did not attend the press conference as he wanted to first undergo a series of medical evaluations before publicly making a statement, said Mozeliak.
“He was sad,” Mozeliak said. “I didn’t see him live — I was on the phone — but he was definitely teary-eyed and I think he felt like, to some degree, he was letting us down. I assured him that that was far from the truth and that we were grateful for all that he’s done for this organization.”
“He’s hurt,” Matheny said. “There’s no manuscript for how you handle the adversity that comes, especially late in your career. It doesn’t make it easy, even if you are prepared. He was completely confident that 2013 was going to be a great season for him as a comeback player.”
With Carpenter out of the equation, the Cardinals will either have to develop one of their young starting pitchers to fill in the void or look for help in the free agent marker.
A first-round Draft pick by the Blue Jays in 1993, Carpenter has been slowed by injuries throughout his career.
If Carpenter does retire, he will end his career with 144 wins and a 3.76 ERA. As a Cardinal for nine seasons, Carpenter went 95-44, won the 2005 NL Cy Young Award and helped lead the Cardinals to two World Series championships.