Carpenter throws aggressive side session

Carpenter throws aggressive side session

JUPITER, Fla. -- The sweat was pouring off Chris Carpenter on Tuesday morning, and that was a good thing for the Cardinals.

Recovering from a left hamstring strain that forced him out of his first spring start a week ago and caused him to cut Sunday's side session short, Carpenter threw for about 12 minutes on the mound outside the Cardinals' clubhouse, increasing the intensity of his throws as he went along.

"It was definitely way better than the other day," Carpenter said afterward. "I was a little tentative at first. As it went on, I was a little more aggressive."

The Cardinals haven't determined whether Carpenter will make what had been his next scheduled start, Friday against the Tigers, though that seems doubtful. Even if his next start is pushed back a few days, Carpenter still has enough time on the spring calendar to make three starts and perhaps be in line to pitch Opening Day on March 31 against the Padres. Carpenter said he definitely plans to be pitching in a game next week.

"I'm not going to push it," Carpenter said. "I've got to make sure it's right before I do anything crazy."

Carpenter, who has never had a hamstring injury before, said he'll see how he feels Wednesday morning and go from there. But he did not seem at all worried that he might miss the start of the season.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.