Chris Carpenter leaves start with strained hamstring

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More bad news for the Cardinals, as Chris Carpenter left this afternoon’s start with a strained hamstring.

Given how depressing spring training has been for the Cardinals so far perhaps the injury being to Carpenter’s leg rather than his arm almost qualifies as good news.

Of course, in the same game reliever Mitchell Boggs departed with a strained lower back, so the hits just keep on coming for a Cardinals pitching staff already reeling from losing Adam Wainwright for the season to Tommy John elbow surgery.

Carpenter told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that “there was no way he could have gone on,” so at the very least he’s unlikely to make another start for a couple weeks.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.