While I certainly understand the reasons for it, the widespread excitement over the 2012 debut of Chris Carpenter at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon has me a bit concerned.
Sure, Carpenter has thrown a handful of simulated games, working up his pitch count each time, but there is a difference between simulations and the real thing. In its essence, those outings had to serve as Carp’s condensed spring training.
Carpenter has logged good career numbers against the National League Central and the Cubs specifically…
However, there is one big difference. He is not just coming off an extended off-season – he is trying to bounce back from major surgery less than two months ago, as well.
I have no qualms about how the Cardinals have brought Carpenter along. It seems to have been a patient, measured approach, keeping risk minimized. Yet no one knows what to expect Friday.
Even without Carpenter, the club’s starting pitching seems to have improved over the past week. It is not that he isn’t needed and welcome – after all, he is a former Cy Young Award winner and post-season hero – but the Cards have been hanging in the wild card race without him, showing admirable resiliency in the process.
It seems to me that Carpenter offers the potential for a tasty dessert to be added to an already filling meal. The 2012 Cardinals have progressed this far without Carpenter – a 2.5 game wild card lead with 12 games to go – so their season will not be ruined if he does not exhibit playoff form in his long-delayed season opener.
What would you consider an acceptable first outing?
How many innings do you expect from Carpenter?
- Five (63%, 15 Votes)
- Four (17%, 4 Votes)
- Three or less (13%, 3 Votes)
- Six (4%, 1 Votes)
- Seven (4%, 1 Votes)
- Eight (0%, 0 Votes)
- A complete game (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 24
How many runs maximum do you expect Carpenter to allow?
- Two (40%, 8 Votes)
- Three (25%, 5 Votes)
- Four (20%, 4 Votes)
- Five (10%, 2 Votes)
- One (5%, 1 Votes)
- None (0%, 0 Votes)
- Six or more (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 20