Chris Carpenter throws to live hitters, will start Wednesday

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Chris Carpenter was scratched from today’s start because of a hamstring injury, but Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he threw around 60 pitches against live hitters this morning and is now scheduled to start Wednesday against the Tigers.

Carpenter gave Cardinals fans a scare in the wake of Adam Wainwright’s season-ending elbow injury and has been sidelined since March 1, but the former Cy Young winner told Hummel that he’s no longer worried about the hamstring problems:

You’re talking about a minor hamstring injury, not elbow surgery or a sore shoulder. I’ve had way too many other things to concern myself with a slight hamstring. I figured that eventually it would be getting better.

Barring a setback Carpenter is in line to make three spring training starts before his Opening Day assignment.

Report: Rangers sign Jesse Chavez

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Rangers have signed pitcher Jesse Chavez. He’ll earn a $1 million base salary that will increase to $1.5 million if he’s added to the active roster, Heyman notes. The right-hander can earn an additional $500,000 in incentives as a reliever and $1 million in incentives as a starter.

Chavez, 34, struggled across 21 starts and 17 relief appearances for the Angels last season, finishing with a 5.35 ERA and a 119/45 K/BB ratio in 138 innings. He had decent peripherals, but has always allowed a high batting average on balls in play. Chavez has also been homer-prone in recent seasons which may only be exacerbated by the Rangers’ home ballpark.

The Rangers have Mike Minor and Matt Bush already clamoring for the fifth spot in the rotation, so it seems unlikely Chavez will open the year in the rotation. He could wind up there during the season, however, should any of the starters suffer an injury.