Remember last spring, when everybody said Chris Carpenter wasn't going to pitch this season at all? Well, it looks like he's going to pitch this season. Jenifer Langosch (via MLB.com):
All along, Chris Carpenter kept the secret.
Truth is, when he termed his July 19 surgery as season-ending, Carpenter himself didn't buy into it. When he talked about preparing for 2013, he wasn't ruling out pitching in 2012. What came across as a pitcher resigned to a lost year was one internally challenged by what he knew no one could possibly expect.
Yet here he is, one simulated game away from fulfilling the goal that only he had. Barring any surprise development, Carpenter is set to make his season debut next week.
With Jake Westbrook out of action with an oblique injury, Lance Lynn was recently reinserted in the Cardinals' rotation and Lynn -- an All-Star, by the way -- pitched six strong innings against the Dodgers, Thursday night. So management's going to face a tough choice. Will Carpenter take Lynn's place in the rotation? Will Carpenter replace Jaime Garcia, who pitched well in his first start after coming off the DL, but has a 5.82 in his four starts since? Or what about rookie Joe Kelly, who's been consistently good but without the durability for greatness?
If Carpenter really is close to 100 percent, this is one of those proverbial good problems to have.