Carpenter shutdown, won’t be ready for opening day Kyle Dallman March 21, 2012 Cardinals The Cardinals just can’t catch a break. Last season they lost Ace Adam Wainwright for the entire season, as well as numerous other injuries. But even with the injuries the Cardinals carried through and showed the importance of depth and teamwork. But already in 2012 the Cardinals are facing similarities to last season. First it was the news Allen Craig might not be ready by opening day due to a knee surgery (though Craig has been active and batted in a minor league camp recently), utility man Skip Schumaker has re injured his oblique which will keep him off of the opening day roster, and now the worst news of all. Chris Carpenter has faced a setback that could be a career threatining injury. Cardinal fans may remember the bulging disc in the neck has been a career ender before, just look at Larry Walker. Carpenter is not a young pitcher anymore and even with his mental toughness and competitive edge he has struggled to really stay healthy his entire career. He missed nearly the entire ’07-08 seasons and now it appears that his 2012 season could be in jeopardy as well. It was before his first start of the spring that the Cardinals learned that he was suffering from this injury and his return was questionable. However shortly after we all heard good news, he was out and throwing again. However this good news halted quickly, today as the Cardinals discovered the injury was back and it was certain that Carpenter will be out atleast through opening day. Carpenter is back in St. Louis where he will be visiting with a nerve specialist. Hopefully he will not have to require surgery but it is looking like it will be at least 4-6 weeks before Carpenter will return to the mound. So who will get the opening day nod against Miami on April 4th? Well that question has been answered today by Mike Matheny as the job has been given to Kyle Lohse. The rest of the rotation will start as follows: Jake Westbrook, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, and Lance Lynn who will take over Carpenters spot in the rotation. This also allows Wainwright to start on the Cardinals home opener on April 13th. Cardinal fans should not be weary for several reasons. The main reason being that the Cardinals have a great amount of depth in their roster and especially at pitching. Lance Lynn is slated to replace Carpenter in the rotation and if he falters the Cardinals also have guys like Mitchell Boggs, Kyle McClellan, Marc Rzepczynski, and even Shelby Miller who could fill the void. And of course their could always be talk of trying to sign Roy Oswalt once again, but I wouldn’t expect the Cardinals to spend money on that just yet. Depth is important and it can win championships, so Cardinal fans take a deep breath and prepare for the Cardinals to defend their title.