Chris Carpenter was out for the year. He was dealing with neck problems, and then he had a rib removed because he was suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome. That was in July. He was supposed to be out for the year.
Well, he's back and starting for the Cardinals in Game 2. And if that seems weird, note that Carpenter has surprised people before with his restorative powers. The reason he's on the Cardinals in the first place is because he had shoulder surgery to fix a torn labrum. The Blue Jays didn't want to pay him his final year of arbitration because who recovers from torn labrums? They were right. He missed a year. And, really, he wasn't that good before the injury. He was going to be 29 when he returned.
He came back from the shoulder surgery and was immediately one of the best pitchers in baseball. Ooookay.
Then he missed a year with Tommy John surgery. When he came back, he left after three starts because of shoulder problems, eventually diagnosed as nerve irritation. He missed both his age-32 and age-33 seasons with these problems, which usually means a pitcher is close to done.
A look at Chris Carpenter and Game 2
McCovey Chronicles | Oct 15