St. Louis Cardinals ace right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter met with the media on Monday. The 37-year-old did not announce his retirement, offering a bit of hope that he might still recover from the numbness and weakness in his neck, shoulder and arm and the most recent concern, swelling, discoloration and tingling in his hand.
Carpenter will continue to work out, but is not throwing. He does not plan to report to spring training in Jupiter, Fla. Further medical evaluation will continue but there is no schedule at this time. Carpenter did make it clear that he will not undergo any additional surgery.
In the meantime, we offer a brief look back at some of his considerable accomplishments via words and images.
• 144 career wins, currently 14th among active MLB pitchers. .605 winning percentage (144-94) is 10th and 3.76 ERA ranked 13th among active pitchers.
• Third in Cardinals history with 1,085 strikeouts. Finished 10 short of tying Dizzy Dean for second.
• .683 winning pct (95-44) since 2004 is tops among MLB starting pitchers during that time.
• 95 career wins as a Cardinal is five short of him becoming the 16th pitcher in team history with 100 victories.
• Made five opening day starts (2005-2007, 2010-2011), tying Dean for second-most in team history. (Bob Gibson leads with 10.)
• Cardinals career leader in post-season wins with ten and innings-pitched (108).
• Key member of 2006 and 2011 World Champion clubs.
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• In 2005, first Cardinals Cy Young Award winner since Bob Gibson in 1970.
• Players’ Choice National League Comeback Player of the Year Award winner in both 2004 and 2009, voted upon by his peers.
• Starting pitcher for the National League in the 2005 All-Star Game. First such assignment to a Cardinals pitcher in 32 years, since Rick Wise in 1973.
• Also named to NL All-Star team in 2006 and 2010, but did not pitch in those games.
• Selected by teammates to receive the 2006 Darryl Kile Award for being “a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man.”
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• Selected in first round (15th overall) of 1993 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
• Spent first nine years of his professional career with Toronto. Made MLB debut May 12, 1997 at the age of 22.
• Signed by the Cardinals as a free agent in December 2002.
• Had one-year contracts in 2003 and 2004 with 2005 option (later exercised).
• Signed a contract extension in April 2005. Two years, $13 million for 2006-2007 with a club option for 2008.
• Renegotiated contract following the 2006 season. Five years, $63.5 million for 2007-2011, plus 2012 club option.
• Contract was redone again in September 2011. Two years, $21 million for 2012 and 2013 seasons.
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• Underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair labrum tear in right shoulder in September 2002 after three DL stints that season.
• Underwent arthroscopic surgery in July 2003 to remove scar tissue. Missed entire first season with St. Louis.
• Sat out final two weeks of 2004 regular season and all of post-season with nerve irritation in upper arm.
• Had elbow ligament replacement surgery (Tommy John) in July 2007 and missed most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
• Underwent right elbow surgery to transpose the ulnar nerve in November 2008.
• Made just three regular season starts in 2012 after missing the first 150 games of the season with nerve irritation in his neck and shoulder. It resulted in neurogenic thoracic outlet surgery on July 19, originally expected to be season-ending.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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