He didn’t throw a pitch in the majors all summer and didn’t handle an inning of the postseason, but throughout October one of the biggest presences in the Cardinals’ dugout and clubhouse was veteran ace Chris Carpenter.

Players described his advice. Manager Mike Matheny lauded his influence. After losing Game 6 of the World Series, they were left to consider his void.

Carpenter, undone this season by nerve troubles that may have first surfaced back in 2004 before that World Series against Boston, is expected to retire this winter. He may not do it with an official announcement, preferring to fade out.