ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter “is very unlikely” to take the mound in the 2013 season, it was announced in a Tuesday afternoon news conference at Busch Stadium.
G.M. John Mozeliak said that Carpenter was feeling numbness in his arm and is contemplating retirement.
“He was sad,” Mozeliak said. “I didn’t see him live — I was on the phone — but he was definitely teary-eyed and I think he felt like, to some degree, he was letting us down. I assured him that was far from the truth and that we were grateful for all that he’s done for this organization. At that point, I was still wondering if there was some hope for resolution on this. But both Mike and I have talked to him numerous times since then, and I think, right now, what he wants to do is make sure that whatever is going on in his neck, shoulder and arm is not going to preclude him from having a normal after-career life.”
Carpenter, who will turn 37 in April, is said to be seeking out more information before speaking publicly. Mozeliak said Carpenter is placed on DL and not retiring.
According to the team, if Carpenter were to retire now, he would forfeit the $12.5 million he’s slated to earn in 2013. The more likely scenario is that Carpenter will hold off on that announcement until after the season, which would coincide with the end of his current contract.
Mozaeliak said he was “absolutely surprised” by the news. “I knew it could be plausible but hearing it the way we did, it was certainly shocking.” Mozaeliak told reporters that the main thing the organization is going to miss is Carpenter’s leadership.
With Carpenter out of the equation, the Cardinals will either have to lean on one of their young starting pitchers — a group that includes Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal — or look for help from outside. Free agent Kyle Lohse remains unsigned.
When asked if this news would prompt them to reconsider the Lohse situation. Mozeliak said the team is “confident” in what they have. They are open to opportunity but not willing to discuss a specific player at this time.
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