At 10:15 A.M. on Field #5, 35-year-old Chris Carpenter was scheduled to throw four simulated innings to catcher Gerald Laird. The club's ace is working back into game shape after suffering a hamstring strain during his spring training opener on March 1.
|Carpenter on Friday|
Rotating innings with #29 was another right-handed pitcher, #67, David Kopp. The 25-year old, throwing to catcher Bryan Anderson, was facing his first live hitters of the spring as part of his recovery from off-season nerve transposition surgery in his elbow. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, Carpenter also had the procedure two years earlier.
Stepping into the batters box against the two were right-handers Tony Cruz and Pete Kozma and lefties Adron Chambers and Anderson. A considerable wind blowing in didn't help the pitchers' control, but Kopp sawed off one of Chambers' bats which went flying far down the first base line and even the perfectionist in Carpenter only led to a few frustrations, as measured by choice words from his mouth.
In a potentially scary moment, Duncan, standing on the raised platform at the rear of the batting cage, was struck in the nose by a foul ball. Schoendienst piloted a cart with Paletta also aboard to take Duncan into the clubhouse for treatment. The pitching coach was back in action in literally minutes, suffering no apparent ill effect.
Carpenter was pleased with his 60-plus pitch outing and pronounced himself on track to return to action this coming Wednesday. La Russa called Carpenter, "Rusty, but healthy."
The pitcher's remarks follow.
Though Kopp is the only player in major league camp to not appear in official spring training game action, he is pleased with his progress and wants to continue his 2010 feat of pitching in every start. For a pitcher with a checkered injury past, turning that corner seems almost as important as his results, which included both mid-season and post-season All-Star recognition in the Double-A Texas League last year.
Kopp also spoke after his Friday live bullpen session.
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