This postseason, Chris Carpenter has become an inspirational and informational leader for the Cardinals, unable to actually help them on the field as he recovers from shoulder surgery. That may have just become a permanent role.
According to the Boston Globe, the one-time Cy Young winner who did not pitch in 2013 and made only three starts in 2012 will retire at some point during the offseason. He has spent this season mentoring St. Louis’ young starting rotation, particularly during the playoffs, where Joe Kelly, 25, and Michael Wacha, 22, have out-dueled Cy Young winners Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS.
The pitcher’s agent, Bob LaMonte, told the paper that Carpenter will hang up his spikes 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.”
If Carpenter does indeed call it a career, he will finish with a 144-94 record over 15 seasons, with a 3.76 ERA, three All-Star Game appearances and two World Series titles.
His postseason numbers are far more impressive — a 10-4 career record with a 3.00 ERA. He went 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts in the World Series.
His best season was in 2005, when he went 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA and 213 strikeouts, winning the NL Cy Young Award.
Carpenter’s career numbers are all the more amazing when factoring in his injury history. He came to the Cardinals after being released by the Blue Jays in late 2002 and missed the entire 2003 season with an injured labrum. An elbow injury which required surgery cost him much of the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He collected 44 wins and led the majors in starts in 2010 and tied for the lead again in 2011, but an injury that required shoulder surgery and a rare procedure to remove a rib limited him in 2012 and ultimately was the last straw.