ESPN.com reports the St. Louis Cardinals have placed starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (elbow) on the 15-day disabled list. He will be reevaluated in the next 10-14 days. He underwent an MRI Monday, April 9.
Carpenter felt tightness in his elbow after his first start of the year against the New York Mets. He had additional tests on his elbow after it flared up again following a bullpen session. Carpenter has been fairly healthy since coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder in 2003.
Carpenter was scheduled to start Tuesday, April 10, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but pitcher Randy Kiesler will take his place. The rotation includes starters Kip Wells, Adam Wainwright, Anthony Reyes and Braden Looper. It's uncertain whether Kiesler or another minor league player will continue to man the rotation spot, but Kiesler appears to be the short-term answer.
For Carpenter owners, the uncertainty of his injury should have them looking for short-term alternatives. Wells becomes the Cardinals' most experienced starting pitcher and had a very good outing against the Houston Astros Sunday, April 8. After two games, Wells has struck out 14 batters and has a 1.38 ERA.
Two other National League options are New York Mets pitcher Oliver Perez and Colorado Rockies starter Jason Hirsh. Both had strong first outings. Perez struck out six and won his first decision against the Atlanta Braves, keeping them off-balanced. He didn't show the dominant speed of his breakout year in 2004, but he pitched methodically. Hirsh, 25, dominated the San Diego Padres for 6 2/3 innings, fanning eight, in a 4-3 win. The 2003 second-round pick was Houston's top pitching prospect last year, and the Rockies were fortunate to land him in an offseason trade. Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke may also be a solid option. He only gave up one earned run against the Boston Red Sox, while striking out seven and only walking one, in his first start of the season. The 23-year-old is attempting to return from a bout with depression, and his initial effort of 2007 was a good start.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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