PITTSBURGH -- Cardinals staff ace Chris Carpenter was placed
on the 15-day disabled list Monday after an MRI exam in St. Louis
revealed arthritis and a previously undiscovered impingement in his
Carpenter, limited to one start this season, will rest for the
next 10 days to two weeks and will be re-examined after that. The
condition sometimes requires surgery but also can be cured by rest
According to a statement issued by the team, there was no
evidence of an acute ligament injury -- a problem that would have
required surgery and likely would have finished Carpenter's season.
An impingement occurs when a thin layer of membrane that lines
the elbow becomes caught in the elbow joint. The problem is
relatively common among athletes who have a repetitive elbow
motion, such as throwing a pitch or swinging a golf club.
Arthroscopic surgery can repair the usually painful injury if
initial treatment is not successful.
Carpenter, the NL Cy Young Award winner with a 21-5 record in
2005, hasn't pitched since allowing five runs in six innings during
a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets in the majors' season-opener April
1. He also was scratched from a scheduled start Friday against
Carpenter flew with the Cardinals from Houston to Pittsburgh
after Sunday's game, but stayed on the chartered plane because it
was returning to St. Louis. With Carpenter unable to make his
previously scheduled start Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, left-hander
Randy Keisler was called up from Triple-A Memphis to pitch.
The 30-year-old Keisler signed with St. Louis during the
offseason as a free agent. He had no decisions and a 4.50 ERA in 11
games last season with the Oakland Athletics. He is 4-4 with a 6.82
ERA in 51 games over five major league seasons, making 17 starts,
for the Yankees, Padres, Reds and Athletics.
"It was his day to pitch. He's got some experience," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
Keisler gave up one run and five hits in five innings in his
only start this season for Triple-A Memphis. He was effective
during spring training for St. Louis, allowing only an unearned run
and three hits over eight innings in four games.
"Our strength is sending a guy out there every day who has a
chance to win," La Russa said. "We're not going to make up for
Carpenter missing unless Keisler gives us a chance."
Carpenter, who turns 32 on April 27, initially complained of
soreness a day after opposing the Mets. He was examined by the
team's medical staff on April 2, but did not undergo an MRI that
day. Carpenter said the elbow didn't bother him during the Mets
game, but he began experiencing swelling afterward.
Carpenter was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, going
15-8 last season, and is the only remaining starter from St. Louis'
season-opening rotation a year ago. He has a 100-69 career record
in 246 games with the Blue Jays and Cardinals during a career that
began in 1997 with Toronto.