ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- General Manager John Mozeliak, manager Mike Matheny and others called it a roller coaster. The roller coaster of believing Chris Carpenter would return for 2012 and then realizing things didn't look well. Then another day sensing optimism and getting excited again only to be disappointed once more.
Well, the roller coaster has come to a stop at the lowest point possible. Chris Carpenter will not be pitching for the Redbirds in 2012.
He, along with the team and the medical staff, opted to have surgery on his problematic shoulder that will sideline him for 3-6 months. Carpenter says he wishes he was able to come to this conclusion in March because he would be getting ready to come back right now.
Unfortunately, science doesn't work that way. They thought back then it was just a bulging disc. They thought rest would gain that strength back. That was not the case.
Well, the good news here is that the Cardinals finally have an answer as to what their ace has been dealing with. When you don't know and are kind of guessing, that's never good. Even though surgery is required it's better to know exactly what your opponent is.
So having a healthy Chris Carpenter back for 2013 makes it very exciting.
But what about 2012? That's the question. GM John Mozeliak came out and said they need to go out and get a starter now. That makes sense. Jaime Garcia should return in August at some point...but more will be needed. Remember, this team is still pitching Joe Kelly every 5th day.
And while Kelly has done everything you can ask of a youngster on a fill-in basis (3.38 ERA in 21 innings over 4 starts) I find it hard to believe the Cardinals would want him pitching in September while they're trying to chase down the Reds and/or Pirates for a playoff spot.
The Phillies' Cole Hamels, the Brewers' Zack Greinke and the Cubs' Matt Garza along with Ryan Dempster are going to be the hottest names on the trade market. I just don't see Mozeliak going out and acquiring someone who's going to be a free agent and commanding top dollar.
That's not the Cardinals' style. They prefer to know they'll have control over someone for an extended period of time. The problem is there's not too many guys like that out there.
I predict they trade for a mid level starter (Francisco Liriano maybe?) and move Lance Lynn back to help out the bullpen. I also think Mozeliak will go and get another reliever or two in addition to that.
The news about Chris Carpenter missing the rest of the season just changed the Redbirds' plans for the trade deadline in a few weeks.