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Surgery to shelve Cards ace for year

ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter was starting to think his career might be over. Instead, the Cardinals right-hander hopes he's just looking at another lengthy interruption.

The 2005 NL Cy Young winner will have season-ending surgery this month to repair a nerve issue in his shoulder that has sidelined him since spring training.

Carpenter, 37, has been told the surgery to relieve compressed nerves in the shoulder could allow him to resume his career, though there are no guarantees. The procedure involves removing the first rib and connecting muscles, and cleaning out scar tissue.

"I want to pitch again, and this is the way for me to pitch again," Carpenter said Tuesday.

Carpenter heard what he wanted to hear from the surgeon, Dr. Gregory Pearl of Dallas. He didn't ask about odds of success.

"I asked him one simple question. I'm 37 years old, I've had a nice career, is this worth getting this done?" Carpenter said.

"There's no question he believes I can come back and be as strong as ever."

Carpenter has dealt since 2008 with an injury called thoracic outlet syndrome that causes numbness to his arm, shoulder, neck and face in various degrees. He doesn't believe his heavy workload last year for the World Series champions was a factor.

CHIPPER AN ALL-STAR: Braves 3B Chipper Jones, who is retiring after the season, was named to the NL All-Star team as an injury replacement for Dodgers CF Matt Kemp. Jones was one of five players on the Final Vote ballot at MLB.com.

In other All-Star news, Gerry Davis will be the home plate umpire for Tuesday's game in Kansas City, the 29-year veteran's second time as crew chief. Davis will be joined by Jim Joyce (first), Brian Runge (second), Tony Randazzo (third), Lance Barksdale (left) and Brian Knight (right).

HALLADAY HEALING: Phillies RHP Roy Halladay went through a vigorous bullpen session and could be back shortly after the All-Star break. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been out since May 28 with a strained muscle in his back.

dukes ARRESTed: Former Rays prospect and Hillsborough High product Elijah Dukes was arrested in Tampa on a charge of driving with an invalid license.

ATHLETICS: Former closer Brian Fuentes was designated for assignment. The left-hander has a 6.84 ERA in 26 appearances.

BLUE JAYS: Duke RHP Marcus Stroman, the 22nd overall pick in the June draft, agreed to a $1.8 million deal.

INDIANS: DH Travis Hafner is set to be activated today after missing more than one month following knee surgery.

MARLINS: RF Giancarlo Stanton missed the game with the Brewers for precautionary reasons because of a sore right knee. He was available to pinch-hit.

METS: CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis was scratched because of a bruised right hand.

PIRATES: OF Jose Tabata was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis after batting .230 with a .295 on-base percentage and a .341 slugging percentage.

RED SOX: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka went on the 15-day disabled list with neck stiffness. … Rookie 3B Will Middlebrooks sat out with left hamstring tightness and could be headed to the disabled list. … The team reached a contract termination settlement with RHP Bobby Jenks, out all season after offseason back surgery, and placed him on unconditional release waivers.

TIGERS: RHP Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start because of a hamstring injury. The team expects him to miss only the one start.

TWINS: RHP Liam Hendriks, who has a 7.04 ERA in eight starts this season, was optioned to Triple-A Rochester. RHP Cole DeVries was called up from Rochester to replace him.

Surgery to shelve Cards ace for year 07/03/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 9:01pm]
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