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.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.