Chris Carpenter – Carpenter has begun throwing a few pitches to see if he can possibly make a start before the end of the season. He has a small chance of returning after being out for the entire season.
The Cardinal hurler had a great 2011 season and helped the Cardinals win the World Series. He began the season with shoulder pain and eventually had surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (I am not sure exactly what it is, but it sounds bad) on July 19th. Initially, it was reported that he was not going to return this season, but signs are starting to point to a return.
Most times I would warn against starting a pitcher until he proves he can pitch up to his previous standards. I would not be as cautious with Carpenter. In the past, he has performed well after returning from the DL. In 2008 he made three regular season starts after Tommy John Surgery and posted a 1.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. His 1.8 K/BB was less than his career average, but still okay for a starter. In 2006, he went on the DL for shoulder inflammation. In the five starts after he returned, he had a 3.27 ERA, 9.5 K/9 and a 1.9 BB/9. Chris doesn’t have much on an issue returning to form quickly after being on the DL.
I see him being useful for a few reasons. First, he would be a cheap pickup in a keeper league even though I expect him to be already owned in most leagues. Also, he could be a replacement for pitchers who get shut down for the season. Finally, he would be a nice streaming option in H2H leagues during the playoffs. He is owned in only 8% of Yahoo! leagues and 23% of ESPN leagues, so he is readily available.
Jason Hammel – Hammel expects to be activated Friday after being on the DL for having loose bodies removed from his knee. I see no reason for him not to return to his previous 2012 production.
After struggling for a few seasons in Colorado, he has been thriving in Baltimore. Before going on the DL, he had a 3.54 ERA supported by a 8.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. Here are some pitchers putting up comparable numbers in the A.L.
Name: K/9, BB/9
Price: 8.7, 2.7
Sale: 8.9, 2.3
Moore: 8.8, 4.0
The chances of having one of the preceding pitchers available on the waiver wire would be slim to none. Hammel is somewhat more available (40% owned in Yahoo!, 27% owned in ESPN), and would be a nice addition to a rotation when he returns on Friday.
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