Found August 29, 2013 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter doesn't know if he will try another comeback next season. "I really don't know what's going to happen," he said Wednesday.
But Carpenter has figured out what he will do the rest of this season.
He's going to take infield grounders before batting practice, he's going to cheer on the Cardinals from the dugout and he's going to make the rest of the road trips. In other words, he's going to enjoy his job.
As well he should.
Carpenter spent nearly six months, from February to late July, trying to come back yet again, this time from the same kind of nerve issues that cost him most of 2012. He actually made it as far as two rehab starts before deciding it just wasn't going to happen. He could threw OK but nowhere close to the form that made him a Cy Young winner and one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history.
By the time he walked off the mound in Memphis July 20, his comeback attempt was over. While certainly disappointed to fall short in his attempt to get back on a big-league mound, Carpenter also felt some kind of comfort in the realization he had done as much as possible.
Now he had to accept that he was finished.
"There's frustration and disappointment and it takes time to get over it," he said.
But there's also the rest of the season and the Cardinals, with or without him, have been enjoying quite a successful one. Rather than stay home and sulk, Carpenter decided to try and have some fun.
"If this is the last time I'm going to be part of a team, I wanted to put this uniform on, go out there and enjoy the major league baseball atmosphere and experience," he said. "I wasn't going to let two-and-a-half or three months slip by, depending on how far we go. If we're fortunate enough to go to the playoffs, I did not want to not enjoy my last little bit of time doing what I've been doing my whole life."
So when Mike Matheny asked Carpenter to join the team on their last road trip, the 38-year-old said yes.
"He hesitated a little but I think he came with us and realized two things," Matheny said. "One, he probably did miss that kind of camaraderie and the other thing is that he realized he could bring value. Anytime you can bring value to a team at this level, there is a great sense of reward for that."
If he had not exhausted his comeback efforts, though, Carpenter might have done what he did in spring training and stayed away from his team. Many injured players feel out of place as a bystander and Carpenter has endured more than his share of such times.
"Answering the question for myself about not coming back is what allowed me to get over that frustration and disappointment," Carpenter said.
His teammates certainly are glad to have him coming around, and none more than Lance Lynn. When Lynn struggles to control his emotions on the mound, Carpenter can relate. He was known to scream in his glove or glare down an opponent a time or two. For Lynn, the similarly minded spirit in the dugout has given him someone to consult.
"The two years I've been in the rotation, I think he's had only five starts," Lynn said. "But we have become really close. We have a relationship where something is going on during a start, he'll come up and say something to get me back to where I need to be. Someone who doesn't have that mindset might not want to say anything because you don't want to mess with a guy. But he knows what I need to hear."
For Carpenter, the big-brother role never will beat competing on the mound, but it's the best he can do for now.
"I'm giving my best effort to be cheerleader and role model," Carpenter said. "Hopefully I can help some of these guys. It's been fun."
Let's hope so. After all he's done and tried to do, he deserves that much much.
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST OF MAXIM
Last month, I showed how St. Louis Cardinals prospects stacked up on several national in-season list updates. Since then, two more notable rankings have been released. They are from MLB.com, compiled by Jonathan Mayo, and Scout.com from Kiley McDaniel.
Each is different, however.
MLB.com ranks 100 players. Otherwise, Kolten Wong at 55 would not have made an MLB.com top 50 list....
ST. LOUIS -- Kevin Siegrist won't fib.
"Occasionally, the rookie lefty says.
And why wouldn't he? An instant confidence boost is a quick glance at a stat sheet -- or a couple of laptop clicks -- away. His numbers have caught the attention of opposing teams, after all. He might as well study them, too.
"I don't try to look at them too much,"...
The St. Louis Cardinals demoted Tyler Lyons to Triple-A Memphis, a day after the lefty started against the Reds, and recalled reliever Fernando Salas to boost the bullpen.
Lyons is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in nine games for St. Louis, and allowed one earned run in five innings with no decision in a win over Cincinnati. He's 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 16 starts at Memphis.
ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals demoted Tyler Lyons to Triple-A Memphis, a day after the lefty started against the Reds, and recalled reliever Fernando Salas to boost the bullpen.
Lyons is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in nine games for St. Louis, and allowed one earned run in five innings with no decision in a win over Cincinnati. He's 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 16 starts at Memphis...
ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals promoted a fresh arm from the minors for the second straight day, recalling rookie right-hander Michael Blazek from Triple-A Memphis and demoting rookie right-hander Carlos Martinez.
The 24-year-old Blazek has appeared in 10 games with St. Louis with an 8.31 ERA in 8 23 innings before Wednesday night's game against the Reds. He's 1...
ST. LOUIS -- Joe Kelly tossed six strong innings and Matt Holliday drove in a run for a seventh straight game, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
St. Louis has won six of its last seven, including the first two games of this three-game set. The first-place Cardinals have won eight of their last 10 against the third-place Reds...
BREAKING - The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired John Axford from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later, according to Kary Booher of the Springfield News Leader.
Axford, the once mighty closer for the Brewers, has served as the team’s eighth-inning guy for the majority of the 2013 season. His performance has been far from his former, dominant self...
Right-hander Jake Westbrook gave a thumbs up after throwing his first bullpen session since being placed on the disabled list because of a lower back strain according to Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg of MLB.com.
Westbrook said he's had minor back issues in the past and what team doctors told him was "not alarming."
"When you're sore, it's hard...
Brian Walton explains his thinking behind his prediction of up to ten additions to the St. Louis Cardinals roster for the final month of the season.
Hot News for P Tyler Lyons
Adam Wainwright is a contender for the NL Cy Young Award, but he's surely more concerned with increasing the St. Louis Cardinals' lead atop the NL Central.
Wainwright looks to become the NL's first 16-game winner Wednesday night when the surging Cardinals go for their first home sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in almost five years.
Tied with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann...
As most of you know by now, I am a 5th year pharmacy major at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Thus, in order to watch the Cardinals while at school, they either have to be on national television or playing against the Cincinnati Reds. Well, tonight, I was lucky enough to catch the action on Fox Sports Ohio. However, I don’t think lucky is the right word to describe...
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals traded for a Brewers right-hander Friday morning, but he was not old friend Kyle Lohse.
The price for John Axford, though, does not figure to cost the Cardinals nearly as much as a deal would for Lohse. The Cardinals will send the Brewers a player to be named for Axford, who is making 5 million this year and will be eligible for arbitration in the off...