Chris Carpenter announced the other day that he will continue to rehab in effort to return to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. However, he knows he probably can't factor into the starting rotation given his condition and the strength of the Cardinals starters thus far. Therefore, he announced that he could be ready to pitch in the bullpen as early as June or July this season.
This would be a much welcome addition to the Cardinals if Carpenter can indeed make a healthy return and be effective out of the bullpen at least as a long reliever. It is highly unlikely that he would close out games, but that is a bridge the team will cross if it comes to it.
Nothing is guaranteed at this point. Just a month or so ago the talk was that Carpenter would never pitch again professionally. However, with a bullpen that has been struggling and Carpenter's well known insatiable itch for competition, he is apparently feeling up to the task. He sacrificed his body for the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series run and attempted to do so again at the end of 2012. So naturally, for the second season in a row he has announced a season ending injury, only to later announce that he will be returning in the same season.
"I don't know that I will ever retire," Carpenter told reporters during a press conference adding, "I will never say those words." Manager Mike Matheny and GM John Mozeliak have both stated that they would be more than happy to have Carpenter contribute in the bullpen if he's healthy and effective.
Keep checking back with STLCardinals101.com as the story develops.
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