Cards’ Carpenter doesn’t know if he’ll return
ST. LOUIS St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter expects to begin a rehab program next week following surgery to relieve nerve compression that left his arm and much of the right side of his body numb.
The 37-year-old Carpenter gave no guarantee Tuesday that he’d be back next season. Carpenter didn’t know when he’ll be able to throw again, but said the surgeon, Dr. Greg Pearl of Dallas, told him there were no complications.
“There’s always doubt with everything I’ve been through,” Carpenter said. “But I know I’ll do whatever it takes to get out there again.”
Carpenter’s top rib was removed along with two of the connecting muscles to free nerves, and scar tissue was removed. He was injured in spring training and last pitched as the Game 7 World Series winner last fall.
Carpenter said Pearl was “very positive about the outcome” and added, “I’m sure we’ll know by the end of the season whether or not it worked.”
Next year will be the final year of a two-year, $21 million contract for Carpenter, the staff ace when healthy but often injured. He won the 2005 NL Cy Young award but missed virtually all of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with an elbow injury and has dealt since 2008 with the nerve issue.
“This is about it. If it doesn’t work, unfortunately I’m going to have to say good-bye,” Carpenter said. “But I don’t think I will. I think it’s going to be fine, I’m excited about it.”
-- The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired left-hander Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for three minor league players.
The Pirates also get cash in the trade that was announced Tuesday night after losing to the Chicago Cubs 5-1. Pittsburgh is sending left-handers Rudy Owen and Colton Cain and outfielder Robbie Grossman to Houston.
Hoping to make the playoffs for first time since 1992, Pirates general manger Neal Huntington improved one of the top pitching staffs in the National League with the acquisition of Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA for Houston, the worst team in the major leagues.
-- The Cleveland Indians acquired veteran Brent Lillibridge from the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, adding some backup versatility as they seek to stay in the AL Central race.
Minor-league right-hander Jose De La Torre was sent to Boston, which had acquired Lillibridge on June 24 as part of the trade that sent corner infielder Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox.
-- Injured Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is recovering more quickly than expected from his sore left wrist and could be swinging a bat and hitting off the tee soon.
-- Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante walked into the Detroit Tigers clubhouse for the first time Tuesday afternoon.
The atmosphere was festive as they exchanged handshakes and hugs with their new teammates about three hours before Detroit’s game against the Indians.
Sanchez and Infante were acquired from Miami on Monday in a trade that will further strengthen a team that appears to be on the verge of taking control of the AL Central. Sanchez, a right-hander, will add depth to the rotation while Infante could be the solution to Detroit’s season-long problems at second base.
-- Arizona has designated infielder Ryan Roberts for assignment, ending the Diamondbacks portion of the career of a popular player known to fans as “Tat Man” for his multitude of tattoos.
The team activated shortstop John McDonald from the disabled list to take Roberts’ spot on the roster.
-- The slumping New York Mets have demoted starting right fielder Lucas Duda to the minors in a mini shake-up at Citi Field.
-- The Seattle Mariners have activated Mike Carp from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma and inserted him into the starting lineup at first base.
The Mariners brought Carp back Tuesday and had him batting seventh against the Yankees. Carp takes the spot of Justin Smoak, who was optioned to Tacoma following Monday night’s game. Smoak was hitting just .189 and was hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
Carp has spent two stints on the disabled list this season with right shoulder problems stemming from an injury suffered in Seattle’s season-opening series in Japan. Carp hit .220 during his rehab assignment.