It's not a huge shock that Chris Carpenter is retiring. It was assumed in February when he was lost for the season that it might be the end of his career. Word of his "retirement" trickled out in October, but his St. Louis Cardinals were making moves in the postseason and Carpenter wasn't going to announce anything then.
Now he has. Carpenter, 38, is officially retiring after 15 years with the Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays. He won a Cy Young and two World Series with the Cardinals. He was the ace of the Cardinals staff and the clubhouse leader for a successful St. Louis team. He went to the playoffs in seven of the 10 seasons he suited up for the Cards.
Even this season, when he was hurt from the beginning, Carpenter stuck around the team and served as a mentor/unofficial pitching coach to St. Louis' young staff.
During the World Series, Carpenter told us the following about his future: "I'm not sure," Carpenter said earlier this week about his future. "I'm going to enjoy this right now with me and my family. When it's all said and done, we'll sit down and talk about what the future holds."
Many have assumed he'll land a gig with the Cardinals if he wants one.
"I could see him doing a lot of things in the game should he choose," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Big League Stew in October.
Carpenter's career will be remembered by both his high moments and his tough bouts with injury. Among the highs, his postseason prowess. He won those two World Series and along the way had an overall postseason mark of 10-4 with a 3.00 ERA. In the 2011 World Series, he pitched Games 1, 5 and 7, cementing himself as a postseason legend.
Many will wonder how great he could have been if not for injuries. He missed all of 2003 and most of 2007 and 2008 because of injuries, then, of course, 2013. He finishes with a 144-94 record and a 3.76 ERA with 1,697 strikeouts, which won't get him too much Hall of Fame love, unless his case is heavily (and we heavily) weighted by his postseason success.
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