Chris Carpenter “out indefinitely” with nerve irritation in shoulder

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Chris Carpenter left Cardinals camp earlier this week with what was described as a neck injury, but after several days of testing by specialists he’s been diagnosed with nerve irritation in his shoulder.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Carpenter is “out indefinitely” with an injury similar to one he had in 2008 and “is going to have to recover then re-strengthen his shoulder” before rejoining the rotation.

In other words, it’s going to be a while.

Carpenter had already been scratched from his Opening Day assignment, with Kyle Lohse taking his place, and Lance Lynn will step into his rotation spot for however long is needed.

As part of a two-year contract signed in September the 36-year-old Carpenter is owed $21 million and for the second straight year the Cardinals must now replace their No. 1 starter before the season begins, although at least Adam Wainwright looks healthy again after missing all of 2011.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.