Carpenter plays long toss

JUPITER, Fla. – Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter played catch for a second straight day Thursday, intensifying his velocity and distance from the previous day.

Carpenter, who hasn’t thrown off a mound since facing hitters on March 3, is dealing with a bulging disc in his neck.

The right-hander played catch with coach Cal Eldred, backing up for several minutes of long toss. He then came back in and made several throws from flat ground, appearing to work on his pitches and mimic his delivery.

It’s unknown when Carpenter will return to the mound. He would need to start March 20 to have enough time for three spring starts and still be on turn to start Opening Day on April 4 in Miami.