Carpenter could have lighter spring workload

Carpenter could have lighter spring workload

Carpenter could have lighter spring workload
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals have indicated that veteran starter Chris Carpenter will play a large role in determining his spring workload, given that he is coming off a year in which he threw 237 1/3 regular-season innings and then another 36 in the postseason.

Though there are no health concerns with Carpenter, there have been discussions about modifying his spring progression in order to help avoid any fatigue during the season. Not lost on the Cardinals is that Carpenter made only four starts in Grapefruit League play last spring and then went on to toss a career-high innings total.

"How we differentiate from '11 to '12, clearly it's something that we want to talk about," general manager John Mozeliak said. "He finished so strong [in 2011]. Was that because of a lack of workload in Spring Training? It's just a balance. Carp knows his body as well as anybody. He'll have a large stake in what we do on that."

For now, Carpenter will go about his throwing routine as he normally would at this time of the year. That includes being one of the 15 pitchers who will throw a bullpen session during the team's first official workout out Sunday.

"We're going to take Carp based on his workload last year and take it as he sees fit," pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said. "Of course, we will always leave the flexibility of tweaking anybody's schedule, not only him. It's all going to be based on how he feels. He's experienced enough that he knows what he needs to be prepared for the season. We'll adjust it and tailor it as we see best."