#13 Chris Carpenter SP
Call me biased if you want, but you cannot keep Chris Carpenter out of the top 15 on this list. He was one of the best starting pitchers this team has ever seen, and as you know by now, there has been a lot of them to play for this team.
I’ve given you his story several times as he has made the top ten free agents, 28 man roster, and the top ten pitchers list. So, I will try and stay stats driven here and give you my case of Carpenter’s inclusion here.
Carpenter finished his Cardinals’ career with a record of 95-44 and an ERA of 3.06 and FIP of 3.28, while being worth 28.7 fWAR. While his fWAR number is less than Brecheen, Lanier, and Waino, its not about the total with Carp here. Carp pitched for the Cardinals during the great Tony Larussa run of the 200os, being a member of the team from 2004-2012.
During this time Carpenter missed a small chunk at the end of his 3.1 fWAR season in 2004, missed all but a total of four starts and one bullpen appearance in the 2007-2008 seasons totaling just 0.5 fWAR, as well as missing all but three starts in his 2012 season.
When healthy in 2009-2011 Carpenter posted a 13.6 fWAR on top of his 14.4 fWAR from 2004-2006. So, the majority of Carp’s fWAR totals come from just six seasons, with the lowest fWAR total being 3.1 in an injury shortened 2004 season, and his highest ERA coming in 2011 at 3.45.
That’s pretty impressive for Carpenter, and it makes you wonder where he could have finished had he not missed so much time due to injury.
Plus we all know of Carpenter’s performances in the postseason including two World Series titles, including the 2011 season that was dominated by Carpenter and teammate David Freese‘s great performances. All things considered, Carpenter will go down as one of the best to ever play for this great team.
Next: The Big Cat