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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Agent says Chris Carpenter will retire

In his always-interesting Sunday column, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo quotes St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter’s agent, Bob LaMonte, about the 38-year-old’s future plans.

Chris Carpenter’s agent, Bob LaMonte, said the righthander will retire and “may have an opportunity to work for the Cardinals organization. Chris basically came back from five career-ending surgeries. I don’t think you’ll ever see anyone do that again. He had a sixth one and it was too many. He had a great career, a great human being.”

That comes on the heels of an item from Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch on Saturday. In it, general manager John Mozeliak was asked if he could see a future for Carpenter in the team’s front office.

“If he wants to do something with the St. Louis Cardinals, we would certainly welcome that,” general manager John Mozeliak said of Carpenter’s life after pitching. “When the time comes to discuss that my door will be open. I look forward to that conversation. He is someone who is so competitive and so passionate about this game that I don’t know if working in the front office is going to appease that. But we’ll see. Great guy. Wonderful teammate. So, we’ll see.”

Carpenter has not pitched this season in the majors after trying to return from chronic pain in his neck, shoulder and arm due to thoracic outlet syndrome. He is in the final year of a two-year, $21 million contract extension signed in September 2011. The next month, the right-hander carried the Cardinals toward their 11th World Championship.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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27 Responses to “Agent says Chris Carpenter will retire”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Maybe Chris saw that quote and decided? Or maybe Mozeliak knew Chris was contemplating retirement when he made the quote? Chicken or egg, I guess.

    I wonder what kind of FO job he would get? I don’t think a desk job would fit him. Probably a field job like scout or roving instructor.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I agree those jobs may make the most sense. Some on the lunatic fringe are calling for the team to fire Lilliquist and make Carp the MLB pitching coach.

      • crdswmn says:

        I would love to see Chris in the dugout again as a coach, but firing Lilly is insane. I understand that there is a MLB limit on coaches, so they couldn’t just add a position.

        Maybe someday, when there is a legitimate opening on the coaching staff.

        • Brian Walton says:

          I’d love to see Carp go down and coach in the minors. I think he could do the organization a lot more good there. I doubt it is realistic, though.

          My general perception (not specific to Carpenter) is that many retiring MLB stars, wealthy and with young families, are not interested in that lifestyle change. The wave of new managers without minors experience (such as Mr. Matheny) may feed the expectation of some of wanting to start at the top.

          • blingboy says:

            Assuming he retires, we will have to see if he shows up at the complex this spring along with the many other former players who pass on knowledge to the youngsters.

            My guess is he starts out as a special assistant to the GM, like Franklin.

          • blingboy says:

            Dennis Martinez is an example of a guy who made many millions playing, all kinds of glory, and went on to work as an instructor and minor league coach.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    There is not a lot Matheny can do about the lack of hitting. Are we going to replace Matt Holliday? No, we are going to ride him, hot or cold.
    One reason we do not fare well against LHPs is platoon options have reverse splits. IIRC, at Memphis Kozma hit RHPs better than LHPs. In 2013, Shane Robinson hit better against RHPs. This gives Matheny weak choices against LHPs. Jay batted .220 and OPSd 620 against LHPs, bad. Shane was no better, sadly. This may be why Matheny stayed with Jay for Game 3. The Dodgers have RHPs Nolasco and Greinke in games 4 and 5 and Jay is clearly the better choice, provided he goes aggressively after fly balls.
    Nonetheless, Matheny should consider Robinson for Game 6 against Kershaw. TLR had Skip Schumaker start CF in Game 7 in the 2011 Series, because Jay was not hitting. When the team has problems scoring, its good to make a few substitutions, try to change the dynamic.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      The Cards have a pretty good chance to score against the RHP, Nolasco. On the other hand, so do the Dodgers versus Lynn.

      • Brian Walton says:

        Right. The low scoring to date should end tonight.

        I get your point about sitting Jay, but Matheny seems loyal to his guys/slow to react/overreact.

        Interesting that in Games 1-3, none of the three aces pitching got a win.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          The September stretch drive was led by strong pitching and by Adams with the stick. We could use some hits from Adams and Carpenter.

          I did not see replays of the uncaught fly that landed between Jay and Beltran. In 2009, we know Holliday lost a ball in Los Angeles twilight and against white handkerchiefs, because it hit him dead center, right in the tummy. Maybe Jay lost sight of the ball, but fans would have rather liked to see it bounce off him while aggressively pursuing a catch, not pulling up, which serves no useful purpose whatsoever. Jay has been playing CF in the majors for several years. The team has slow corner OFs and most gap balls should be his responsibility. Fans want to see OFs go all out, like Torii Hunter crashing over a fence almost catching a HR by Ortiz.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            I have a tip for Descalso. If Jay hits a fly during a playoff game, its likely an out. This is the Jay Rule for all our playoff base-runners to remember. Accordingly, it idiotic to get doubled up by a weak armed Dodger LF.

            Puig looked wonderfully fast legging out his triple. That showed good baserunning.

            I doubt Matheny can do anything about mental errors by Descalso and Wong. However, there is really no rationale for a CF not going all out for a fly. Jim Edmonds, below average in speed, was able to do this. I bet Robinson could go all out in trying to make a catch.

            This comes back to the recent topic of parabola mojo and surrounding environment. When some players go on the road, apparently, they have less familiarity with their surroundings and start to make poor reactive decisions. In 2012, Kozma infamously backed off a fly to short left though was saved by an ump with worse judgment; this seemed a rookie error, because a more experienced player would realize Matt Holliday is zero threat to reach the ball. If Wong missed checking to see if a lead runner was headed home, this seems another rookie brain lock. Since Jay is in his 4th ML season, there is not the same rookie brain lock excuse. We want hustle. If we lose, so be it, but we want to lose trying.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Thanks to the Web, I time-travelled to Game 7 of 1968. Have not seen the play in 45 years. It took place at Busch Stadium, a familiar setting for 7 time Gold Glove Flood. Jim Northrup hit a liner deep to center. The flight path was a bit to Flood’s right. After watching Gibson overpower Tigers for 3 straight games, Flood did not appreciate how far the ball would carry. When he realized he needed to retreat, he lost footing. It was a sorry time. The Cards would not return to a World Series for 14 years. Two illustrious players, Gibson and Flood, were beatable on their own turf.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Glad Matheny allowed himself to put Shane Robinson into the game. That is what we need more of, a guy who makes plays.

  3. kray66 says:

    Last night was kind of hard to watch. Between all the OF errors, the bat flip, and the TBS announcers, it was tough.

    It would be nice to see some offense tonight, especially considering as Jumbo said, the Dodgers offense will also likely show up against Lynn.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cards are in a much stronger position than last year when up 3 to 1 in the NLCS. Last year, we faced a lefty (Zito) at home and fizzled ignominiously, but not surprisingly, given our problems against lefties. Then it was back to SF to face two tough RHPs who unsurprisingly blew us away.

    This year, we have three stronger pitchers lined up on our side for 5-7. Games 6 and 7 if needed are at home. And the Dodgers may be reeling. They already were missing Kemp. Ethier is able to stroke singles, but is hurting. Ramirez seems in horrible pain. While Skip and Nick Punto are scrappy, they are not going to beat other teams often. The catcher Ellis is scrappy, but does not block wild pitches. If Crawford were worth $19MM/yr, wouldn’t he still be in Boston?

    While Greinke can be terrific, the Cards should be loose. It will be a day game, no more twilight and shadows to help the home team. We should matchup five left swingers versus the RHP. Kelly has been pitching great. A lot of reasons to be optimistic about todays game.

  5. Bw52 says:

    The Cards might be coming home but the thought has to be in the back of their minds that they had the Dodgers on the ropes and let them up to live another day.Now Cards have to face 2 tough lefties with a rookie Wacha who has been superb(will he continue to be?) and with Molina slumping and killing rallies,Jay not hitting,Freese not hitting,Kozma 1 hit and a almost zero bench.I want to be optimistic but ?
    At least Holliday woke up and MC is starting to hit.Beltran needs to get back to being a big factor(you want to reach the WS Carlos ? Then make it a hitter).

    • Brian Walton says:

      I understand why you are nervous, but if it gets to it, I can’t see Ryu besting Wainwright in a Game 7 in St. Louis.

      • blingboy says:

        I also think that Wainwright would pitch better than Ryu in a game 7 at Busch. But that doesn’t mean we will win.

        I think the Dodgers are not going to let Beltran or Holliday beat them. I worry about that. These two games could very well turn on whose offense shows up and whose doesn’t. I worry about that too. For good reason.

        • Bw52 says:

          You just can`t continue to hope that the Cards pitchers can shut down the Dodgers.With so many of the Cards bats in a funk it might only take a run or two to win.Molina singlehandedly killed 2 rallies yesterday and he is 3-17 in the series.Adams 3-19,Beltran3-17,Freese 2-17,Jay 3-17,Kozma is just Kozma 1-13.You just can`t expect your pitchers to be superman every game and win.Offense showed some life yesterday but facing Kershaw?

          • crdswmn says:

            These numbers were posted over at VEB to show that Kershaw does not have a good track record in his career against the Cardinals. In fact, it would be fair to say he pitches worse against the Cardinals than against any other team in the NL.

            W-L: 4-5
            ERA: 3.75 (highest of any NL team)
            WHIP: 1.318 (highest of any NL team)
            K/9: 8.2 (tied for lowest among NL teams)
            K/BB: 2.19 (lowest of any NL team)
            BABIP: .317 (highest of any NL team)
            OPS: .652 (third highest of any NL team)
            SLG: .330 (fifth highest of any NL team)
            OBP: .322 (highest of any NL team)
            BA: .245 (highest of any NL team)

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