Chris Carpenter told cardinals he will retire, officially.
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) November 20, 2013
Carpenter, 38, has dealt with arm and shoulder issues throughout his career, but still managed to have a successful run at the top of the Cardinals’ rotation. After entering the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997, the right-handed pitcher had a bumpy road on his way towards the top. He missed time due to injury, but was also ineffective. It wasn’t until the 2004 season when Carpenter joined the Cardinals, and started to become one of the top pitchers in major league baseball. At that point, he had a career year in 2004, finishing with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 182 innings pitched. He started 28 games and won 15 of them.
The following season, and from that point forward, Carpenter established himself as a legitimate ace. He posted a 2.83 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, 213 strike outs, and 21 wins in 241.2 innings. These were all career highs for the Cardinal’s ace, and it was enough to earn him the Cy Young award. He went on to have another successful season in 2006, where he finished third in the Cy Young voting and helped his team win the World Series. Injuries derailed Carpenter’s 2007 and 2008, as he only pitched 21.1 innings total between the two seasons.
However, Carpenter came back again in 2009 with another great season, finishing second in the Cy Young voting. He would go on to have two more successful seasons with the Cardinals, which included another World Series title in 2011. He was an important part to both World Series runs. Carpenter pitched in 11 postseason series, achieving a 10-4 record, including three wins in the World Series in 18 starts. He finished with a 3.00 ERA in 108 innings pitched during the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Carpenter's health diminished in 2012 because of Thoracic outlet syndrome. It limited his season to three starts. He had surgery to fix the issue, and although the right-hander worked hard to come back for the 2013 season, it was not meant to be. Carpenter was unable to pitch in a major league game in 2013 due to lingering shoulder issues and decided to end his great career today. Chris Carpenter finishes MLB career with 144 wins, a 3.76 ERA, 1,697 strike outs, 332 starts, and a total of 2,219.1 innings pitched in 15 seasons. He is expected to take a position within the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.