Sunday, January 20, 2008

Carpenter Fix?

The good news for the St. Louis Cardinals is that ace Chris Carpenter has began throwing sessions to help rehab from Tommy John surgery. The even better news is that these sessions have began pain free for Carpenter.


I would suggest taking a late round flier on Carpenter, and stashing him on the DL. Most of the time it takes 10-12 months to recover and be well enough to pitch effectively, and that would mean a return of some time after the all-star break. Think of this as being a similar situation to what Pedro Martinez went through last season. Martinez pitched very well down the stretch for the Mets, though he had little to show for it, thanks to the Mets free fall.

Carpenter could be in a similar situation, as far as the time frame goes, but I don't expect him to pitch as well as Pedro did down the stretch last season. (Pedro Martinez has been a freak of nature his entire career, what he did coming back from TJ surgery was no exception.) Expect some growing pains like a good start and then a poor start, as is usually the case for a pitcher coming off of TJ surgery. Still if you are in a head to head league, he is worth having around on your bench, or DL spot. There are not many aces who can just appear at that time of year, and help a team win a championship.

Personally, I would draft him late, stash him in my DL spot, wait for him to begin his rehab starts, and for the hype of his comeback to grow. Then, while he was blowing away
AAA talent, I would trade him while his value was growing, and before he came back. Let someone else worry about his inconsistent starts, and the constant threat of being shut down for the season, to lessen the risk of re-injury.

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