Carpenter, La Russa and Duncan on Carpenter

Sidelined with elbow problems, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter threw 67 pitches in the bullpen on Saturday morning. Carp, his manager and pitching coach all discuss the outing.

Early Saturday, all eyes were on Chris Carpenter.

As planned, at about 11:50 A.M. CT, the St. Louis Cardinals ace began long-throwing from centerfield to bullpen catcher Jeff Murphy, who was stationed deep in right. Head Trainer Barry Weinberg and coach Jose Oquendo were watching from right field. Coach Marty Mason was ready in the pen.

Carp then moved to the bullpen and began throwing off the mound. Manager Tony La Russa and Pitching Coach Dave Duncan were both right there, standing behind the pitcher. After about 30 pitches, La Russa walked outside the pen to stand with Weinberg to watch the rest of the workout. He gave someone, perhaps equipment manager Rip Rowan, a thumbs up signal, though it may not have been about Carp.

After Carpenter finished around 40 pitches, he plopped down on the bullpen bench for a rest with Duncan and Murphy to either side (at some distance). La Russa and Weinberg strolled over for what looked to be a very casual chat.

Then, Carp resumed throwing. He looked to be using all his pitches. While he seemed to pass the test on Saturday, the bottom-line proof will be how Carp feels on Sunday.

As an aside, Carpenter turned 32 years of age on Friday.

I caught up with the pitcher as well as his two primary coaches following the throwing session.

Carpenter spoke first.


Duncan was pleased, but viewed it as routine pre-game prep. Dunc expects Carp to throw an expanded bullpen on Tuesday if all goes well.


La Russa wants to ensure they take it safe with Carp. With no obvious fill-in for Carpenter, the manager affirmed that Tuesday could be a bullpen game.


Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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