Chris Carpenter threw his fourth bullpen session on Wednesday and is expected to add the challenge of facing hitters the next time he gets on the mound.
Assuming Carpenter doesn’t feel any day-after pain from his latest work, the right-hander will throw batting practice during the team’s weekend series in Kansas City
Carpenter has been on the disabled list all season with a nerve issue in his neck and shoulder that began bothering him during the second week of spring training.
“I feel good. I really do,” the veteran righty told Langosch on Wednesday. “My shoulder feels good. My body feels good. The effort level has been there, too. … I feel good, and I’m looking forward to the next step.”
Carpenter will need to make three or four minor league rehab starts before rejoining the front end of the Cardinals’ starting rotation. If he’s able to avoid setbacks, he could be ready for MLB action by late July.
The 36-year-old right-hander posted a 3.45 ERA across a major league-high 237 1/3 innings last year before going 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in six postseason outings (three of which were World Series starts).
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.