The news came on the radio yesterday, as I was pulling out of a Home Depot parking lot. Early evening, headlights just starting to flick on for the night. I changed the station to 101, and they were talking about Chris Carpenter.

It's funny; Chris Carpenter is a healthy adult American in the prime of his life, and yet my first instinct the moment I heard his name, before the context was explained, I had the exact reaction one always has when your mother suddenly mentions an elderly, not-doing-so-well aunt. That sort of, waiting for the other shoe to drop, I know where this is going feeling.

And then, as the afternoon drivetime schlubs doing the talking continued on, the puzzle started to come together like the world's worst version of Clue, where you find out Colonel Mustard did it in study with a thoracic something-or-other.

The rational part of my mind, the part that writes sports articles on a regular basis, immediately started cranking out possibilities for this year's rotation, including the return of Kyle Lohse, since he apparently misread the market the same as a lot of us here did (raises hand; guilty as charged), and the various permutations of Shelby Rosenthal one could put together, and the fact Lance Lynn really needs to get himself back on track and pitch 2013 the way he did the first half of 2012 if the Cards are going to have any kind of chance this year.