Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/5/13
Health was really the only thing holding Chris Carpenter back, and it’s the reason he may have thrown his last inning. Carpenter, whose big league career includes three All-Star selections, two World Series titles and an NL Cy Young award, is “very unlikely” to pitch in 2013, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak revealed on Tuesday. Carpenter battled nerve-related shoulder problems for much of last season, and was actually expected to miss all of 2012. The right-hander amazingly returned at the end of the year, though, making three regular season starts and three postseason starts. According to Mozeliak, Carpenter is still experiencing discomfort and “can’t continue to throw.” No official announcement has been made regarding whether Carpenter will attempt to make another comeback or opt to retire, but CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler points out that “it doesn’t sound good.” Even if Carpenter’s career is over, there’s still a good chance the Cardinals hurler will head to the disabled list rather than formally announce his retirement because, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, Carpenter would have to surrender $12.5 million if he went down the retirement path. Carpenter will be remembered for both his frequent injuries, which often derailed him for big chunks at a time, and his playoff success. The 37-year-old owns a 10-4 record and a 3.00 ERA in 18 career postseason starts. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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