Chris Carpenter to undergo season-ending surgery

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UPDATE: Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Carpenter will undergo season-ending surgery.

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Chris Carpenter suffered another setback in his recovery from year-long shoulder problems and now Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the former Cy Young winner and the Cardinals have “discussed a second shutdown and possible season-ending surgery.”

That’s a change from last week, when Carpenter opted against surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. However, according to Strauss the Cardinals canceled his bullpen session yesterday and there’s no longer a timetable for his return to the mound.

Strauss also notes that manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak have remained vague about details surrounding Carpenter’s status, continuing a season-long trend for the Cardinals. At this point it sounds all but guaranteed that Carpenter will need the surgery and six-month recovery, but the question is whether it can wait until after the season. And unfortunately it’s looking more and more like the answer is no.

Carpenter signed a two-year, $21 million contract extension last September, but was shut down in spring training and hasn’t started a big-league game since beating the Rangers in Game 7 of the World Series.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.