Carpenter to Miss 3 Months

by Mike Barner on May 5, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


ESPNews reports St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (elbow) will undergo arthroscopic elbow surgery and will miss three months.

Carpenter has been out most of the season for the Cardinals. He has made only one start so far this season, giving up five earned runs in six innings. He also walked one batter and gave up nine hits.

Losing Carpenter for this length of time is crushing for the Cardinals. Last season, Carpenter went 15-8 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. After losing three starting pitchers, including Jeff Suppan to the Milwaukee Brewers, Jeff Weaver to the Seattle Mariners and Jason Marquis to the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals were leaning heavily on Carpenter to be the one constant in a shaky rotation.

With Carpenter out, the team will continue to rely on starting pitchers Adam Wainwright, Kip Wells, Braden Looper and Anthony Reyes. Replacing Carpenter can't be done by any one player, so the Cardinals will have to hope all four of those pitchers can raise their games to a new level. It could be a long season for the Cardinals and their staff, which also recently lost reliever Josh Hancock in an automobile accident. The club has been running pitcher Randy Keisler, a long reliever, out to the mound in place of Carpenter.

This latest news is devastating for fantasy owners that spent one of their top picks on Carpenter. He has been a fantasy stud since coming to the Cardinals, and his stability will now be missed by many fantasy owners. He won't be back until August at the earliest, and owners shouldn't count on getting much from him for the rest of the 2007 season. If you're depending on his return, you have likely already lost.

Since Carpenter has been out much of the season already, many owners have already filled his spot on their rosters. If anyone is still looking for a replacement, consider Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn. Washburn has been solid so far this season, posting a 2-2 record with a 2.88 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in five starts. He won't produce the strikeouts that Carpenter does, but his ratios could be helpful. Washburn is available in just over 97 percent of fantasy leagues polled.

Another pitcher that fantasy owners should consider is Texas Rangers starting pitcher Robinson Tejeda. Tejeda is 3-2 this season with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He is promising young starter who could be solid this season. He has also struck out 27 batters in 37 innings. Tejeda is available in 99 percent of leagues polled.

With Carpenter out for the long term, fantasy owners that were depending on him may need to take some chances. One way to do that is acquire San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum, a top-notch prospect with electric stuff. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 0.29 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 31 innings for Triple-A Fresno. If he produces anything like his hype suggests, he could go a long way to assisting fantasy owners with their strikeout rate.

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About Mike Barner

Mike Barner has been a KFFL Hot Off The Wire Analyst and KFFL contributing writer since 2007.

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