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4/27/1975 (41 y, 9 m, 29 d)
1993 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 15, Overall: 15, Team: Toronto Blue Jays
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Carpenter officially announced his retirement Wednesday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. (11/20/2013)
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David Laurila (FanGraphs)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
For the first time since 2006, Carpenter pitched more than 180 innings in 2009. In 192.2 innings, he won 17 games for the Redbirds, with an ERA of 2.24 and WHIP of 1.01. He struck out 144 batters, walked 38, and allowed only seven home runs in that span. Carpenter missed most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with elbow and shoulder troubles, including Tommy John surgery. Carpenter’s arsenal consists of a four-seam fastball, cut fastball, sinker, slider, and curveball, all of which rate as above-average using pitch f/x data and run values. One of the reasons Carpenter is able to maintain a high ground-ball rate is due to his sinker, which he throws almost exclusively low and away to batters on both sides of the plate.
The Year Ahead:
When healthy, Carpenter has always been a Cy Young contender, winning one in 2005 and placing second in the voting this past season. The problem is that he has missed so much time in his career it’s hard to draft him with any confidence. He seems to be fine now, but another elbow or shoulder issue could arise at any time. If he can stay healthy in 2010, another Cy Young-worthy season should be on the horizon. Another 17 wins with an ERA close to 2.75 and a WHIP near 1.10 is reasonable to expect if Carpenter can pitch another 190 innings. If you want to maintain your sanity next year, stay away from Carpenter, but at some point you have to take the chance to win your league. (Zach Sanders)
Few pitchers have shown the ability to rebound from major injuries like Carpenter. He battled shoulder issues back in his Blue Jays days before becoming a Cy Young Award winner in St. Louis, and a few years ago he had Tommy John surgery only to return and perform brilliantly. The 2010 season was his second full season removed from surgery, and all he did was pitch to a 3.22 ERA (3.69 FIP) in 235 innings for the redbirds. Carpenter's always been a ground ball guy (consistently over 50% in his career), so the strikeout totals are good but not great (6.86 K/9 in 2010, 6.73 in 2009), though he'll win plenty of games during the course of the season (16 last year, 17 the year before). The question here is health, as always. Carpenter's going to be 36 in early April, so his body might not agree with the idea of 200+ innings anymore. The projection systems available on FanGraphs call for another low-3.00's ERA and plenty of W's, but you have to hedge your bets a little when it comes to his ability to stay on the field. Carpenter's fantastic, but definitely as risky as ever. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Carpenter is undeniably brilliant, though he's getting up there in age and his health becomes even more of a question. He's still an asset to any fantasy team, but there's some risk.
A World Series ring may cover for a myriad of woes, but Carpenter’s 2011 was actually his worst season fantasy-wise since his injury-marred campaigns of 2007 and 2008. Despite a rising ERA and WHIP, there is good news for Carpenter in a slowly, but surely rising strikeout rate, which was one of the missing pieces in his arsenal. Carpenter may be slightly more valuable to the Cardials than he is to most fantasy teams because of his groundball tendencies, but he is definitely a pitcher worth targeting, albeit not quite in the same range as other NL aces like Roy Halladay or Tim Lincecum. Don't forget all those injuries, but don't forget about the pitcher either. (Dan Wade)
The Quick Opinion:
A old veteran like Carpenter shouldn’t see too many ill effects from the high number of innings, but 26 playoff innings after 237 innings in the regular season was a substantial load to bear. It shouldn’t be enough to change Carpenter’s value, though, as he’ll still be the pitcher atop the Cardinals’ rotation. He is a strong fantasy option.
More important than Carpenter's performance in his late-season return to the 2012 Cardinals -- a 3.71 ERA in 17 regular season innings and a 2.63 ERA in 13.2 playoff innings; FIPs slightly above 4.00 in both -- was simply his presence on the mound. What was supposed to be a bulging disc in his back turned out to be much worse, and Carpenter required surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a surgery that threatened to shut him down for the full season. It would have been much tougher to bet on Carpenter returning strong for his age-38 season without some exhibition of his health in 2012. Now, though, Carpenter's arm hurts again and he's unlikely to pitch this season, says his General Manager. Stay away, but monitor -- the big guy has come back many times before. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Seeing Carpenter pitch -- and relatively well -- in the later parts of 2012 might have assuaged some injury concerns. Now there's news that Carp might not pitch in 2013 at all. Stay away on draft day.
After being unable to pitch for St. Louis for the entirety of the 2013 season, Carpenter has decided to retire. Had he been able to claw back into the major leagues last year, it would have marked the third time that Carpenter had been able to return from an extended absence. And those extended absences are what will keep Carpenter from being remembered as one of the greats. Because he missed large swaths of time, he averaged less than 20 starts per year over his 17 year career. He had a three-year peak from 2004 to 2006 where he won a Cy Young award and posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio above four in each year. He had another solid three-year run from 2009 to 2011. It's just too bad the peaks were so frequently interrupted. (Brett Talley)
The Quick Opinion:
Pitcher, interrupted. Excellence divided by injuries is how we'll remember him, but let's not forget that he was good when he was in there.
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Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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