The Redbird Report - 04/13

RHP Chris Carpenter (right elbow inflammation) was placed on the disabled list April 9. He had his elbow drained on April 10. There is a chance he could need surgery.

As the Cardinals return home for a five-game stand against Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, right-hander Chris Carpenter, who has a sore right elbow, is in a resting stage The diagnosis is "moderate arthritis" and a mild impingement, and after the elbow was drained while the team was on the road, the swelling had gone down.

Carpenter will be re-evaluated in 10 days or so, and it doesn't appear -- at least now -- that surgery will be necessary. However, Dr. George Paletta, the team's medical supervisor said, "The tricky question that's unanswered is why did he throw fine all spring training? What happened April 1 that he woke up April 2 with a swollen elbow?"

Paletta suggested surgery may be down the road. "It's a legitimate question," Paletta said. "If he doesn't turn the corner and has continued swelling after throwing, we may have to make that decision before the end of the season."

Carpenter, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner, missed the 2003 season after having two shoulder surgeries, the first of which actually occurred in 2002 when he was still with Toronto.

Taking Carpenter's turn the first time around was veteran left-hander Randy Keisler, who has been with eight organizations. Keisler, summoned from Class AAA Memphis, gave up just two runs in six innings at Pittsburgh. Keisler probably will start against the Pirates in St. Louis on Monday.

In the eight starts other than Carpenter's, Keisler and Kip Wells, Braden Looper, Anthony Reyes and Adam Wainwright have not allowed more than three earned runs in any start, and only Reyes (pitching Friday) even got to three.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--1B Albert Pujols is 0-for-10 against left-handed pitching and 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Pujols, who is hitting .176 overall, batted .397 with men in scoring position last year and .336 against left-handers. Pujols, 3B Scott Rolen and CF Jim Edmonds are 2-for-24 against left-handed pitching with no RBIs. Only Edmonds is a left-handed hitter in that group.

--3B Scott Rolen, who missed two games with upper back spasms, may be ready to play Friday. "We're not going to push it," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's going to come in (Thursday), get worked on, and we'll just see when he gets some relief."

--The Cardinals, after losing their first three at home to New York, won five of six on a trip to Houston and Pittsburgh. It has to be pitching because the Cardinals have scored more than three runs in a game just twice out of nine games and have only four homers, two by LF Chris Duncan.

--The 5-1 trip was the Cardinals' first winning trip since last July. They were 12-25 on the road after the All-Star break.

--2B Adam Kennedy, hitting only .130, didn't start the last two games of the series at Pittsburgh when left-handed starters were pitching, but that doesn't mean he has lost his job. "Adam Kennedy is our starting second baseman," manager Tony La Russa said. "That's not a question."

MEDICAL WATCH

3B Scott Rolen (back spasms) sat out April 10-11, but he should be back April 13.

RHP Josh Kinney ("Tommy John" elbow surgery) is out for the season.

RF Juan Encarnacion (left wrist surgery) has not rebounded from the offseason procedure. He is on the 15-day disabled list and won't be able to play until at least late April.

LHP Mark Mulder (rotator cuff surgery in September 2006) is on the 15-day disabled list. He won't pitch in the majors until July.


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