Chris Carpenter will start Game 1 of the World Series for the Cardinals and publicly at least various members of the team downplayed talk of his elbow being an issue, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “Carpenter suffered inflammation and swelling of the elbow” following his start against the Brewers last Wednesday.
According to Strauss he “required lengthy daily treatments” leading up to a potential Game 7 start in the NLCS and any notion of Carpenter starting on short rest for a second time this postseason has been ruled out.
In fact, his Game 1 start will come on six days’ rest following an abbreviated 89-pitch outing, so if ever Carpenter was going to be at full strength this would be the time.
Strauss hints that the Cardinals were somewhat worried about Carpenter’s status for a potential Game 7 against Milwaukee, so he needs all the extra time off he can get.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.