Image courtesy of US PRESSWIRE
JUPITER, Fla. (KSDK Sports) - Monday is the day both pitchers and catchers had to officially report to Spring Training, but there was of course one noticeable absence, ace Chris Carpenter didn't show.
That, of course, was because he was back home in St. Louis, speaking to the media for the first time since announcing he would not pitch in 2013.
He may not pitch this year, but he is not retiring.
"If I feel like I can start throwing again and I'm cleared to start throwing again I probably will," he said. "I don't think I'll ever retire. I'll never say that word."
He said the decision to call Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak was difficult, but the right decision.
"I had to quit tricking myself and telling myself that I was OK," Carpenter said. "I can't pitch the way I feel right now."
Carpenter says he could tell something wasn't right when he began tossing bullpen sessions over the off season. You may recall he had experienced numbness, tingling and also some bruising in his hand. Those symptoms led to an early shut down by Carpenter during Spring Training last year.
"I'm going to go ahead and rest it until our guys get back," he said, referring to the Cardinals' medical staff.
With his teammates focusing on the Spring and the work they must do, Carpenter has pulled himself out of the mix now to allow his team to focus.
"Adam [Wainwright's] called me twice and I haven't spoken to him because I didn't know what to say or how to say anything," he said. "I just wanted to step away because I didn't know what to say."
"This is the first spring in 20 years that I haven't been down there," Carpenter said.