November 5, 2008

Carp goes under the knife

Chris Carpenter has undergone surgery for a nerve relocation on the same elbow he had had surgery before.

The links below will give you all the details, one from the Official Web Site of the St. Louis Cardinals, the other from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The question for Cardinal Nation is whether the former Cards' ace will have a genuine shot at a comeback, again?

The answer, according to the Cardinals' organization, and GM John Mozeliak, in a maybe, might be, outta be kinda way, is a definite maybe. The response is probably as accurate as they could come up with, because when you think about it, who knows? Not even Carp.

The bigger issue is that there was a lot of hedging going on by Mozeliak regarding off-season moves, of which people are starting to get the idea that he is the King of Non-Moves, a procrastinator extraordinaire, something Walt Jocketty was not. GMs under the bridge, however.

We know there would be a certain amount of guesswork involved in off-season strategy, having to take a best guess at whether Carp would be available, and if he would be effective. But last season, if you were hearing the patronage anything like me, you kind of got this sense that the Cardinals' front office was expecting not only comebacks by several key hurlers, but was expecting a substantial improvement.

Now you look at some of the arms Cardinal Nation had anxiously awaited and you say: "Where are they now?"

Matt Clement, Mark Mulder, Chris Carpenter, Ron Flores, Adam Wainwright, Anthony Reyes, to name some of the key players.

It no longer matters whether Carp will be back, and how well he is, from a standpoint of how to approach the off-season potential deal-making, because you have to form strategy based on the idea that Carpenter may never get back to his old, terrific self. Sure we wish he would, but pitchers with continuing arm problems are not something to bet the farm on. And should Carp come back in a big way, then with any luck, the Cardinals will have more options on other potential deals.

And since when does a team ever have enough quality pitching?

photo by Barbara Moore

Links to stories regarding Carp's arm surgery: