Jul 7, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) celebrates with Chris Carpenter after hitting a solo home run off of Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (not pictured) during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Today at Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals legend Chris Carpenter tossed three simulated innings to players like Shane “Mini-Me” Robinson. Carp felt good and his pitches looked familiar.
According to Fox Sports Midwest, today’s practice with three batters over three innings of imaginary work went extremely well. So well that righty Chris Carpenter will head to Springfield for a rehab assignment with hopes of joining his cousin Matt in St. Louis soon.
Mini Me (Matt Holliday’s smaller shadow) said that Carp’s cutter was “unhittable”, and it was confirmed that his fastballs were breaking 90mph. That sounds like the Carp of old who got it together to join the Cards in September of 2012. If all goes well in the minors, the former All-Star and Cy Young Award winner could be back in the show by the end of the summer.
This may directly effect the chances of a move involving a veteren starter. Also related, is southpaw Cliff Lee earning four runs tonight versus the Nats.
Despite having the best record in baseball St. Louis is not perfect by any means, especially on the mound. That makes it more vital that proven leaders like Carp are present instead infield utility guys who produce nothing. Considering #29’s experience and the lack of age in the St. Louis clubhouse, the news today is encouraging. Whether he is in the bullpen or in the rotation Chris Carpenter will prove his worth.
Until then, Springfield Cardinals and Memphis Redbirds players can look forward to learning how to professionally stare someone down, and getting treated to dinners on the road.