“If my arm is what it is like now, at some point in time, you have to be like ‘enough’s enough.”
Those were the words of St. Louis Cardinals‘ Chris Carpenter back in February, when a setback to his continually troublesome shoulder all but signaled the end of his career. Fans were ready to say goodbye. The team had planned to move on without their ace for good.
Even Carpenter himself counted him out.
Fast forward some three months later, and it looked like every one of them may have been wrong — including the veteran.
Then again, maybe we should have known better than to have just assumed that Carpenter would simply be ready to move on from the game without a fight — even if it’s a slow, deliberate one. According to Scott Miller of CBS Sports last week, there was even a chance that the big righty could come back and rejoin the team by July.
A slight setback may have put that improbable (and remarkable) goal out of reach for now, but according to Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg of MLB.com, big Carp is still staying the course in his comeback attempt, even if he “has to make sure he does it the right way.”
That means dialing things back just a tad for now:
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) May 29, 2013
No, it doesn’t quite provide the definite answer that everyone wants to know about Carpenter’s return, but with the staff hurting for help and all eyes on newcomer Michael Wacha on Thursday … let’s just say you shouldn’t be surprised if the answer comes sooner than expected.
It was improbable enough for the ace to come back and pitch towards the final games of 2012 and into the playoffs — an encore is almost expected at this point. After all, defying expectations in the face of career-threatening injuries is just what the Cardinals ace has routinely done over the years.