The St. Louis Cardinals announced the worst kind of news that you can expect in that Chris Carpenter will be out for the season.
Oct 21, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (29) delivers a pitch during the first inning of game six of the 2012 NLCS against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Image Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
I was all set to write today about how Yadier Molina needs your help in being voted the Face of MLB over Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs, no less. He still needs your help, that goes without saying, but there are other urgent matters at hand.
What is the future of the pitching rotation without Carpenter? The one positive that I can think of is that it frees up a spot for Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, and Joe Kelly. The three of them are going to be fighting over two spots now instead of there being a battle over one spot.
As general manager John Mozeliak alluded to this afternoon, the Cardinals pitching is in great shape with young arms. With Carpenter not pitching in 2013 and maybe never again for the rest of his career, the staff ace is Adam Wainwright without the shadow of a doubt. Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia have the two other slots in the rotation, barring a major injury. This leaves us to the final two slots in the rotation, where there are–at minimum–four players who will be battling for a slot: Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, Lance Lynn, and Shelby Miller.
One of those four will likely have long relief efforts to start the season. Based on the second half of last season, my guess would be Lance Lynn gets the dirty work in the pen as opposed to a starting slot. Of course, a lot can and will change as a result of what players do in spring training.