Carpenter To Return to Cardinals - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Carrie Anderson

Carpenter To Return to Cardinals

NEW YORK (AP) - The suddenly slumping Cardinals, trying to stay

in contention in the NL Central, expect to get a boost from within

just before the trade deadline.

Chris Carpenter, out since opening day 2007 because of an elbow

injury, is scheduled to return to the St. Louis rotation Wednesday

against Atlanta, manager Tony La Russa said Saturday.

The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner, who had reconstructive elbow

surgery last July, gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings in his second

rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Memphis. He is scheduled to

throw a side session in St. Louis on Sunday and, if all goes well,

make his first start of the season against the Braves.

"About the best news we've had," said La Russa, whose team was

mired in a five-game skid entering Saturday night's game against

the New York Mets. "I don't know that you can give me something

that comes close to it."

Carpenter has thrown several simulated games at the club's

spring training complex in Florida, and looked strong in tossing

four scoreless innings for Double-A Springfield last Sunday. His

command improved with Memphis, where he threw 53 of his 78 pitches

for strikes.

La Russa said he has no expectations for the right-hander and

won't necessarily have him on a pitch count when he returns.

"What he needs to concentrate on is the day he pitches," La

Russa said. "We're going to watch him. When he starts struggling

we'll get him out."

Young right-hander Mitchell Boggs struggled again Friday night

against the Mets and will likely lose his spot in the rotation when

Carpenter rejoins the team.

His return can't come soon enough for a pitching staff that has

been decimated by injuries.

Adam Wainwright, the opening-day starter in Carpenter's absence,

hasn't pitched since June 7 because of a ruptured tendon in the

middle finger of his pitching hand. He's also expected back in the

rotation in August.

Former 20-game winner Mark Mulder, who is still trying to come

back from two shoulder operations and struggled in three

appearances with St. Louis this season, has been shut down for at

least two weeks. His chances of making it back this season are


Earlier Saturday, the Cardinals traded former starter Anthony

Reyes to the Cleveland Indians for minor league reliever Luis


Reyes held Detroit to four hits in eight-plus innings to win the

World Series opener two years ago, and for a while was considered

the club's top pitching prospect. But he's struggled with

consistency and has spent much of the season in the minors.

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