It is probably best to start this article with three declarations.
I cannot fully express my admiration and respect for what Chris Carpenter has accomplished for the St. Louis Cardinals over the last decade. That was most recently the case in 2011, when he made what appears to be his last stand – pitching over 270 innings at age 36 despite an injury-checkered past. Carp led the staff to the World Series title, with his NLDS Game 5 duel with Roy Halladay being one of the best-pitched games I have ever seen.
I believe any playoff-contending staff – the Cardinals included – needs a veteran on-the-mound-every-fifth-day leader. That stopper who can be counted upon to neutralize a batting slump and end a losing streak as well as serve as a mentor for the younger pitchers. Of course, the Cardinals currently have an abundance of the latter while some are concerned about the former.
I believe that the Cardinals’ staff leader should continue to be Adam Wainwright – for the foreseeable futu...