ST. LOUIS -- With the recent recurrence of numbness in his arm, Chris Carpenter remains unable to throw and uncertain if he will be cleared to do so again anytime soon. He admitted Monday that he was "not very optimistic" about his chances of returning to a mound in 2013.
What that means for 2014 and beyond now becomes the next question.
Carpenter did not speak about that future Monday, but general manager John Mozeliak did say that if Carpenter decides he wants to make a run at a return next season, the organization would discuss a potential fit with the Cardinals. Carpenter will become a free agent at season's end.
"He deserves to be in the conversation," Mozeliak said. "In terms of what next year looks like right now, I think it's really unfair to everybody to start to think through that. But Carp has been a part of this organization for a long time and he deserves that type of respect."
The Cardinals are 125-73 in Carpenter's starts since he signed with the Cardinals before the 2003 season. Though the injuries have been numerous during his tenure -- they delayed his Cards debut until '04 -- Carpenter won 15 or more games during five of the six seasons in which he made at least 20 starts. His winning percentage of .683 is second all-time among Cardinals pitchers with a minimum of 100 starts.
Arm problems, however, have kept Carpenter off the mound most of the past two seasons. He made three regular-season starts after recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in 2012. This year, additional arm weakness/numbness and back problems have interrupted his attempts to come back. Carpenter had to shut down his throwing program again after his second Minor League rehab start.
Carpenter said he does not anticipate seeking additional medical opinions any time soon. He continues to work through an exercise and rehab program.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.