Thursday, September 23, 2004

Good News and Bad News

First, the good news. Looks like Rolen is getting back on his feet (both literally and figuratively.) We have seen that Rolen is able to play through pain, as he actually has been for most of this season. I suspect that he will in fact be ready to go come October 5th, and even if that means Rolen at 80%, he's still better than just about any other 3rd baseman in the playoffs.

Then, the bad news.

The Cardinals still sound as if they have a guarded optimism about Carpenter being able to pitch in the NLDS. However, this injury sounds very similar to the one suffered by Brad Penny of the Dodgers. If you look at the injury status of Penny over the last few weeks, the beginnings are a little too familiar.

Aug 08, 2004 - 9:36 pm
Brad Penny left today's game in the first inning with an apparent arm injury.

Aug 08, 2004 - 9:36 pm
The Dodgers are calling Brad Penny's injury a strained right biceps. He'll undergo an MRI tomorrow.

Aug 10, 2004 - 7:38 am
An MRI revealed a stretched nerve in Brad Penny's biceps and the right-hander will miss just one start, ESPN's Peter Gammons reports.

Aug 15, 2004 - 9:33 pm
Dodgers placed RHP Brad Penny on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right biceps.

Aug 24, 2004 - 7:07 pm
The Dodgers acknowledged for the first time that Brad Penny is not likely to rejoin the starting rotation until well into September.

Aug 27, 2004 - 9:48 am
Brad Penny played catch for five minutes yesterday. He said he felt no pain, but did notice "a slight amount" of restriction in his arm movement and lingering numbness in the forearm.

Penny had his first start last night since August 8th. In that start, he had to leave the game in the 4th inning, and is now doubtful to pitch again this year. Hopefully, Carpenter's injury isn't as severe as Penny's. If it is, the Cardinals could be looking at Jeff Suppan in the rotation throughout the playoffs.

Personally, I think Rolen is more important to this team than Carpenter. While I would like to see Carpenter in the rotation, I think Rolen's offense and defense day in and day out is more helpful to the Cardinals winning series' than Carpenter getting a start or two. Hopefully, however, the Redbirds will have both available in the post-season.


At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about Rolen over Carp, but mostly due to the level of player you get as a replacement. The dropoff from Carpenter to Suppan isn't nearly as drastic as Rolen to a Mabry/Luna platoon.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Robb said...

Gret point, Jeff. I was actually thinking along those same lines this morning, to the effect that Suppan's ERA is around a half point higher than Carpenter's. (I just looked it up, and it's 0.49 higher to get exact.) So the difference between Carpenter and Suppan is an additional half of a run over 9 innings.

Considering that if Carpenter is out for one or more seriers, he probably will be replaced on the roster by Dan Haren, making the bullpen a bit deeper. In other words, Suppan probably won't be expected to pitch more than 5 or 6 innings unless he's on fire anyway, making the difference even less.

And you're very right - the difference between Rolen and Luna is a big drop-off. It's not as much with Mabry, but still substantial.


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