Carpenter scratched from Friday start due to mild calf injury

JUPITER, Fla. — Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter has been scratched from his scheduled Friday exhibition start due to a mild left calf injury. However, he fully expects to make his regular-season debut as planned on Thursday, April 9, at home against the Pirates.

Carpenter was running on Monday, a day after his last Grapefruit League game, when he felt discomfort in his calf. He said it was sore on Monday and Tuesday but started getting better on Wednesday.

“I was running on Monday and my calf spasmed up,” Carpenter said Wednesday after the Cardinals’ loss to the Mets. “This morning I came in and it’s pretty much normal. I’m not sprinting around or anything, but it feels pretty good.”

Carpenter expects to throw a bullpen session on Friday and another one on Monday before making his scheduled April 9 start. He has been limited to five games, four starts over the past two seasons due to elbow and shoulder injuries.

“We’re just going to err on the side of not pushing it,” said manager Tony La Russa. “He was much better today and felt like he could pitch on Friday, but we decided [to be cautious].”

P.J. Walters will start in Carpenter’s stead in the Friday night game in Memphis between the Cardinals and their Triple-A Memphis affiliate.

4 Comments

“We’re just going to err on the side of not pushing it.” Matthew, please don’t get the idea that I’m shooting the messenger here — that isn’t the intention at all — but coming as this does on the heels of the news about Glaus, it’s getting harder and harder to take casual, no-big-deal dismissal of injuries seriously. I understand that you can only report what you’re told. I’m just concerned that the team’s credibility with injury reporting has taken a pretty big hit in the last couple of years. PLEASE tell us that this isn’t another understated one…

I’m telling you my personal read, which you can take for whatever it’s worth. I believe this to be EXTREMELY minor. I believe if it were the regular season, he would pitch, and we might not have even heard about it.

I could certainly be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first or last time. But my read is that this is decidedly a don’t-panic situation.

Look at it this way: if you were Carpenter, and after all of this, something serious came up, wouldn’t you be totally out of sorts? He wasn’t. He viewed it as almost nothing. And he takes these things seriously, especially at this point in his career.

-M.

Point well taken, M; this is why it’s valuable to have guys like you watching what’s going on, so that the words can be interpreted in context.

That said, how about the body language of the other Cardinals (not just this year’s) who’ve said neutral-to-positive things about their injuries that then turned out to be far worse than the words would have implied? I wasn’t there, but I’d just about bet that most of them really were believing what they were laying down. I mean, if you’re going to make a living doing anything as preposterous, and as hard on the body, as throwing a ball at 95 mph 100 times every five days, you HAVE to be a little optimistically delusional — don’t you?

Hey M,

Was that Memphis’ manger Chris Maloney who batted in the exhibition game today?

-KB

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