Chris Carpenter is unlikely to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals this season and his career may be over because of a nerve injury that kept him out most of last year.
Carpenter has renewed numbness and some bruising in his right shoulder and hand after throwing off a mound prior to spring training, general manager John Mozeliak said Tuesday. He will get an additional medical evaluation and isn't officially retiring, but Mozeliak said the Cardinals are moving on without him.
"He's leaving the door slightly open, but it's unlikely," Mozeliak said of Carpenter's return. "After speaking with him on the phone you certainly get a sense that he's more concerned about life after baseball."
Manager Mike Matheny called the news "a kick in the gut."
Carpenter had surgery in July for a nerve injury that first occurred in spring training 2012. He returned to pitch three games in the regular season, going 1-2 down the stretch, and started three games in the postseason. He beat Washington in the divisional series but was 0-2 in the NL Championship Series against eventual World Series winner San Francisco.
It marks the third straight season the Cardinals have lost a key member of the rotation prior to the start of the season. Adam Wainwright had Tommy John surgery after hurting his elbow in 2011 and missed the entire season.