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Chris Carpenter Rumors
As the Cardinals and Giants do battle in San Francisco, let's take a minute away from the action to catch up on the latest news and headlines from around the National League…
- After enjoying a successful regular season with a 98-64 record, Nats Insider's Mark Zuckerman wonders if Washington can repeat a similar campaign next year. Zuckerman says that the team is positioned to be a strong club in 2013, but suggests that there are no guarantees of repeat playoff appearances in baseball even with a talented roster like that of the Nationals.
- The Rockies' timeline toward once again becoming a competitive franchise remains unclear given the poor performance of the team's management and ownership, writes The Denver Post's Woody Paige. The veteran columnist points to questionable decisions by the team including installing a four-man rotation, 75-pitch counts and moving the co-general manager's office into a conference room just off the home clubhouse.
- Chris Carpenter's rise to veteran leader of the Cardinals clubhouse can be explained by his experience learning from the pitchers who made their mark before him in both Toronto and St. Louis, says Matthew Leach of MLB.com. "My presence has changed, because I'm the only one left," Chris Carpenter said. "So it's definitely changed. I feel like I'm a St. Louis Cardinal. I feel like I always will be in the organization and the clubhouse, the team, I love it all and I enjoy being in there, and I think my presence has changed a lot just because I've been here that long."
The Brewers continue their push for the second NL Wild Card spot as they look to win their series against Mets this afternoon at Miller Park. However, they will have to do so without Corey Hart. Hart has been sidelined for the last six games since he partially tore the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, in his left foot a week ago. Hart did running drills this morning, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, and all did not go well. Hart, who was able to run in a straight line but suffered discomfort when making stops and turns, said, "It’s a little frustrating. Today was the first day I tried to run the bases, and it didn’t go as planned.” Elsewhere from the NL Central:
- The Cardinals, currently tied with the Dodgers for the final NL Wild Card berth, may receive a boost from Chris Carpenter, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Carpenter threw a 90-pitch simulated game yesterday and manager Mike Matheny suggested only a poor recovery from the session could derail his return to the active roster sometime next week.
- In a separate piece, Strauss suggests the 2013 Cardinals will look remarkably similar to this year's version.
- The Pirates can blame their second-half swoon on their pitching, writes John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times. The Pirates have shaken up their rotation by replacing James McDonald with Kyle McPherson.
- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel, the team will not be going to a six-man rotation. Hurdle informed Jeff Karstens today management wants to see the right-hander work out of the bullpen before considering putting him back into the rotation.
The first Sunday of the new NFL season has not gone unnoticed by MLB players. The Cubs are celebrating by wearing a NFL jersey of their choice on their flight from Pittsburgh to Houston tonight, reports Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com. But, like their season, the idea wasn't without its pitfalls. While Floridian Anthony Rizzo (Dolphins), Baltimore native Steve Clevenger (Ravens), and Virginian Shawn Camp (Redskins) came prepared, others were left to the mercy of jersey shopping in Pittsburgh. So, newly acquired Jason Berken, a Packers season-ticker holder, had to settle for a Steelers jersey. Enough of the gridiron and back to the diamond:
- The Stephen Strasburg shutdown will test all of Nationals' intangibles: its confidence, cohesion, and just plain stubbornness, writes Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post.
- Jake Westbrook will miss his next start for the Cardinals with a right oblique injury. MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch reports Chris Carpenter is a possibility to replace Westbrook on Thursday. Carpenter, who has yet to pitch this year after undergoing surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder, is set to throw a simulatated game tomorrow, but Langosch says the team could switch the schedule should they want Carpenter to step in immediately.
- The Pirates are still developing their offseason plans for Gerrit Cole, the first overall selection in the 2011 draft, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Sulia). "We've got to spend some time with him and see where we can place him," Biertempfel quoted GM Neal Huntington as saying. Cole was roughed up in his final Triple-A start (eight runs in just two innings), but Huntingon was philosophical, "The biggest lesson is, Triple-A (batters) can hit 100 mph (pitches). If you keep coming with 100 mph, they're going to keep hitting it. You've got to use all your pitches. Things snowballed on him, things got a little quick for him. He's going to be better for it."
Phillies co-ace Cliff Lee finally found himself in the win column on Wednesday after starting the season with 13 consecutive starts without a victory. Lee's drought was the longest by a former Cy Young winner since future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux went 14 starts without a win in 2008 with the Padres. Let's catch up on the latest news and headlines from around the league…
- Trade candidate Ryan Dempster doesn't want to wait until after the All-Star break to return to the mound and may be ready in time to make a start against the Mets on Sunday, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. "I think they trust me to make the right decisions," Dempster said. "I also don't want to go out there and have a 50-pitch limit, and that doesn't do us any good." The right-hander has been on the disabled list since June 16 with a sore right lat.
- The Rangers may find themselves without any new prospects from Latin America as the team awaits a resolution from Major League Baseball regarding Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras' contract status, says Evan Grant from The Dallas Morning News. Beras' age at the time he signed with the Rangers has been called into question as Beras claims he was 17 but may have actually been 16. "We put our full budget towards Beras," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "In anticipation of getting the contract approved we’ve had to effectively sit out the signing period."
- Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos spoke on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio about his team's performance during the first half of the season and how he plans to be a buyer given Toronto's chances of securing a wild card berth (audio link). Anthopoulos expects to pursue pitching depth outside of the organization to help take pressure off an offense that has carried the team of late, thanks to Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith joined the Getting Blanked show on The Score to discuss the Cardinals' plans for the rest of the season given Chris Carpenter's unavailability until 2013 (video link).
Here's the latest out of the NL Central..
- Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter will undergo season ending surgery after recurring symptoms made it evident that the right-hander would be unable to pitch through thoracic outlet syndrome, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The 37-year-old, who is in the first season of a two-year, $21MM contract, says that he has every intention of pitching in 2013.
- The Pirates lead this summer's group of all-in buyers, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Olney writes that the Brewers' model of 2008 seems perfect for the Pirates to follow and in some ways, they're in a better position to trade because of the amount of pitching talent in their pipeline.
- The Reds have signed eighth-round selection Seth Mejias-Brean, MLBTR has learned. The third baseman played college ball at the University of Arizona.
On this date in 1999, the Royals tore off a 10-run eighth inning en route to an 11-7 win over the Indians, according to Baseball-Reference. Kansas City's only homer in the barrage was a two-out solo shot by Johnny Damon, now of the Indians. On with the Central Links:
- The Twins will see "robust interest" in left-hander Francisco Liriano as the trade deadline nears, a club official tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (Twitter link). Liriano has pitched better of late after a terrible start to the season, though his ERA sits at 5.30 and his SIERA at 4.10.
- The Cardinals' pursuits leading up to the trade deadline will largely be shaped by Chris Carpenter's attempt to return from a shoulder injury, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. GM John Mozeliak is targeting July 1 as a yardstick for Carpenter's progress, although the right-hander recently suffered a setback. The Redbirds plan to seek a starting pitcher.
- Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, likely won't have to serve an eight-week suspension similar to the one being served by the Marlins' Juan Carlos Oviedo for playing under a false identity, GM Chris Antonetti told reporters, including Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Hernandez will probably be excused from the suspension because he restructured his contract this offseason.
It’s Opening Day, part IV. Enjoy these links as the season openers continue around the Major Leagues…
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears the Blue Jays or Phillies could be a landing spot for free agent infielder Mike Fontenot (Twitter link).
- Rays owner Stuart Sternberg told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Rays have considerable off-field issues, though the team is an annual contender (Twitter link). "Winning hasn't cured the ills," Sternberg said.
- The Cardinals aren't close to having a timetable on injured right-hander Chris Carpenter, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. As long as Roy Oswalt’s a free agent, he’ll be an option for the Cardinals.
On this date 20 years ago, the Cubs released 29-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer. The southpaw didn't pitch in the Major Leagues again that year, but he returned in 1993 and has since pitched 3,300 innings and won 233 games. His career isn't over yet, as the Rockies may add him to their rotation. Here are today's links…
- The Red Sox had complete access to Chris Carpenter's medical records before acquiring him from the Cubs, Nick Cafardo and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe report. The reliever also passed two physicals earlier this year, so the Red Sox aren't likely to obtain a different player from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein even though Carpenter underwent elbow surgery yesterday.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wonders if the Indians could pursue free agent Johnny Damon instead of trading for Bobby Abreu (Twitter link). Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explores the Damon-Indians possibility and says it's hard to argue he’s a worse option than Abreu.
- The Brewers have exchanged figures with closer John Axford regarding a possible extension, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. "I'm not going to jump at anything," Axford said.
Two weeks from now, the regular season will be underway. In the meantime, here are some links, including injury updates on a trio of pitchers…
- "We are pretty comfortable with the team that we have right now," said Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to reporters (including MLB.com's Bill Ladson). "If something comes up to improve ourselves, we'll certainly investigate it. We are not selling anybody or shopping anybody or making a lot of phone calls, because we are comfortable where we are at."
- The Blue Jays have five roster spots up for grabs – left field, fifth starter, utility infielder, two bullpen spots – but there are clear frontrunners for each job according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. The team doesn't want to delay any official moves, but they also want to make sure everyone gets enough playing time to audition for jobs.
- Royals closer Joakim Soria will undergo Tommy John surgery on April 3rd, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter links).
- Chris Carpenter is out indefinitely with a nerve issue, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told reporters, including MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (Twitter link). Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests Carpenter will likely miss two months or more (Twitterlink).
- Joba Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle and lost a life-threatening amount of blood yesterday, Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reports. The injury will end Chamberlain's season and could threaten his career.
- One scout says Mark Reynolds isn't appealing, especially given his $7.5MM salary, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. The Orioles are shopping Reynolds and teammate Kevin Gregg.
- Padres owner John Moores could earn a substantial profit when he sells his team, partly because bidders who fail to purchase the Dodgers may view Padres as consolation prize, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.
- Former All-Star reliever Chad Cordero tells Jonathan Hacohen of MLB Reports that he's getting the itch to play again and will attempt to come back to the Major Leagues in 2013. The 30-year-old reliever took time off to deal with the death of his infant daughter, but he's not ready to give up on baseball yet.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Cardinals may open the season without their ace starting pitcher. Here are the details along with reactions from around the league…
- Chris Carpenter returned to St. Louis to be examined by nerve specialists, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. It now seems likely that Carpenter will open the season on the disabled list with Lance Lynn taking his spot in the Cardinals’ rotation.
- Richard Justice of MLB.com doubted Roy Oswalt's decision to sign midseason, but now that Carpenter and Rangers starter Neftali Feliz are battling injuries, there's uncertainty on Oswalt's two preferred teams.
- Jeff Gordon of the Post-Dispatch makes the case that “revisiting the Oswalt Option is imperative.”
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow says his time spent working in the Cardinals front office formed him professionally, Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reports. "My time with the Cardinals — it defines who I am. It defines what kind of baseball executive I am and will be," Luhnow said.