In 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals were without ace Adam Wainwright, but they had ace Chris Carpenter. In 2012, the St. Louis Cardinals will have ace Adam Wainwright, but ace Chris Carpenter is out indefinitely. Carpenter has nerve irritation that's making his shoulder feel weak, and while he's dealt with this in years past, he doesn't have a recovery timetable. The Cardinals and Carpenter will have to wait and see, and we could be talking about a few months.
For whatever it's worth, surgery is not currently an option. Still, the Cardinals are expected to contend, and Carpenter's absence is a blow. Yet for now they're comfortable replacing Carpenter with Lance Lynn. Jenifer Langosch:
Mozeliak does not anticipate looking externally for a different starter, meaning that the club is confident that Lynn, who pitched as a starter in the Minors, is ready to handle the job at the highest level.
As with all official statements, this one is subject to change. Maybe Lynn doesn't look very good, or maybe Carpenter has trouble coming back. Then it would make sense for the Cardinals to evaluate all options, internal and external. They'll put their trust in Lynn for the time being, though, and he was good over 12 starts in triple-A last season. He won't be Chris Carpenter, but he could do the job.