Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 2/29/12
JUPITER, Fla. Despite dominating down the stretch, going 4-0 in the playoffs and leading the Cardinals to a World Series title, ace Chris Carpenter wasn't completely pleased with how he pitched last year. The former Cy Young Award winner was one of the best pitchers in the league the final half of the season and won the clinching games in both the Division Series and World Series. But you'd have never known it based on how he felt. "I pitched good the second half but I was still not in control the way I'd like," Carpenter said. "I just found a way to make it work." While most of the attention and focus regarding Carpenter has been on a heavy workload a year ago, the right-hander arrived in Jupiter with other concerns. Instead of focusing on results, Carpenter plans on using this spring to focus on what helps him get results the mechanics of his delivery and his balance on the mound. "I need to get back in command, not of my pitches, but of my body," Carpenter said. "I feel like the last few years I haven't paid as much attention to getting my body in the proper spot mechanically. What I was paying attention to was trying to find a way to get the ball to where the glove is. "Ultimately that's what you want to do but if your paying attention to it mechanically, it's going to make it a little easier to get that consistent throw." Carpenter threw a career-high 273 13 innings last season, more than any other pitcher in baseball. He also exceeded 4,000 pitches, many of which were in high pressure situations down the stretch. In hopes of protecting his arm and keeping him fresh this year, the Cardinals have altered Carpenter's schedule this spring. He threw his first live batting practice Tuesday while Wainwright and others have thrown to hitters twice. Carpenter hasn't formulated a final plan with manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Derek Lilliquist but said he will likely miss his first spring start next week and jump into the rotation when his spot comes up the second time. "I'm not sure when my next throw is," Carpenter said. "I think ultimately, you want to get out there and work. I think if anything happens, we might just miss that first start, but that's not even 100 percent yet, either. I don't know. "I know when I need to be ready, and that's Opening Day, not Feb. 28." Carpenter got off to a slow start last year, going 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA in his first 15 starts. But things turned around in late June, when he went 10-2 with a 2.73 ERA in his final 19 starts from June 23 on. Overall he finished a respectable 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA despite the poor start. But even after the strong finish, going 4-0 in the playoffs and pitching the Cardinals to wins in two deciding games, Carpenter wasn't pleased with how he felt on the mound. Carpenter was essentially improvising on the mound as he went, overcoming a lack of repetition in his mechanics by making adjustments on the fly. The right-hander wants to change that this spring. For the first time since before he missed nearly all of 2007 and 2008 with arm injuries, Carpenter hopes to find a consistent delivery for a full season. "That's what my goal is going to be the next few times out," Carpenter said. "I'm not going to stray from it because it's important that I get back in control of what I'm doing over the rubber because I think it will help me out here and help me at home plate "Getting out on my front leg the way I'm supposed to, getting over that front leg, your always going to battle delivery mechanical issues, but I need to pay a little bit more attention to what's going on with mine and be more consistent. That's what I'm going to do this spring." After consecutive healthy seasons for the first time since 2005 and 2006, Carpenter can afford the luxury this spring of working on his mechanics and not focusing on rehabbing or arm strength. While the heavy workload from a year ago will cause the Cardinals to monitor his workload this spring, Carpenter said he's more focused on getting his delivery back on track. "Now I'm at a spot where I can come in day after day and pick up a ball and throw and work on stuff," Carpenter said. "I haven't been able to do that for a long time."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker