General manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals announced Chris Carpenter almost certainly won't pitch in 2013 and that his star-crossed career is probably over after a recurrence of a nerve injury.
ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter, one of the best clutch pitchers in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals, might have thrown his final pitch.
General manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny announced Tuesday that Carpenter almost certainly won’t pitch in 2013 and that his star-crossed career is probably over after a recurrence of a nerve injury that cost him most of last season. Carpenter did not attend, and Mozeliak said the emotions for the 37-year-old are still too raw.
Retirement isn’t official, as Carpenter plans to seek further medical evaluation. But Mozeliak seemed resigned to losing him.
“He’s leaving the door slightly open, but it’s unlikely,” Mozeliak said of Carpenter’s return.
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Carpenter is 144-94 with a 3.76 earned-run average in a career that began in Toronto in 1997. He spent six seasons with the Blue Jays and nine in St. Louis. He won the 2005 NL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA.
In the postseason, Carpenter is 10-4 with a 3.00 ERA in 18 starts, including a Game 7 World Series-clinching victory over Texas on three days’ rest in 2011.
Carpenter phoned Mozeliak on Friday and told him that after trying to throw off a mound, the nerve injury was back, this time including numbness in his right arm, plus bruising on his shoulder and hand.
“After speaking with him on the phone, you certainly get a sense that he’s more concerned about life after baseball,” Mozeliak said.
Matheny, a former catcher and teammate of Carpenter’s before his current role as manager, said, “I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed a better competitor than Chris, and also leader.”
Carpenter’s contract calls for a $12.5 million salary this year.
• The Baltimore Orioles agreed to minor-league deals with pitchers Mark Hendrickson, a former Washington State Cougar from Mount Vernon, and Joel Pineiro, an ex-Mariner.
Hendrickson’s deal includes an invitation to big-league camp. Pineiro, 34, who had shoulder surgery last year, will report to minor-league camp.
The 6-foot-9 Hendrickson, a former NBA player, is using a sidearm delivery these days. He has a 58-74 record and a 5.03 ERA in the majors.
Of the new delivery, Hendrickson told MLB.com, “(I’m) a 38-year-old mind but a 20-year-old sponge right now as far as being open and willing to say, ‘Hey, teach me whatever. Let’s work at this and see how good I can be doing something a little different.’ “
• Major League Baseball officials have asked the Miami New Times for records the alternative newspaper obtained for a story on alleged use of banned substances by several players, including third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.
New Times editor Chuck Strouse said the paper had not yet decided how to respond to the request for documents that purportedly linked players to purchases from the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging center run by Anthony Bosch.
On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported the name of Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun — the 2011 MVP in the National League — showed up three times in Biogenesis of America records.
Braun said Bosch was used merely as a consultant on Braun’s drug-suspension appeal last year.
“I have nothing to hide,” Braun said in a statement released by his representatives.