The gutty Chris Carpenter , who rehabbed without deer antler spray to make it back for the St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 postseason run, may have just thrown his last pitch.
The nerve issues that led him to undergo surgery to remove a rib last year are back again.
So, what's this mean for 2013?
First, Adam Wainwright is going to have to build on last year's return from Tommy John surgery. He was already more of the ace, or getting there, before he went down. Now he has to be, not just in pitching skill but in pitching staff leadership.
Second, the Cardinals' young arms — Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal, Shelby Miller — are supposed to be good
for a few years. Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch agrees. They're going to have to prove it now.
Third, assuming Waino meets the challenge, John Mozeliak is going to have to decide how much to open the wallet for him after this year.
Fourth, this also raises the issue of what to do with Jake Westbrook.
And, it also, in my mind, raises again the issue of possibly offering David Freese, along with any of those "young guns" as necessary, in a deal for C.C. Sabathia, which I have already blogged about.
Without any changes, we'll say the Cards are losing 3 wins (he had a 3.5 WAR in 2011) off of what might have been hoped, and possibly a couple more indirectly.