The Cardinals confirmed today what fans were hoping to hear with word that ace Chris Carpenter will return Wednesday to start at home against the Cubs.
Carpenter, who missed nearly all of the last two seasons with a shoulder injury, has been out about a month after injuring his oblique while swinging the bat of all things.
The Cardinals hurler pitched four simulated innings Friday and said he his ready to make a start, although he didn't know how deep he would make in into the game.
“I’m going to go out and do the best I can for as many pitches as they give me,” Carpenter told the Associated Press. “And when it’s over, it’s over.”
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he asked Carpenter to take shorter, more compact swings. The pitcher said he took 50 swings Saturday and 50 more Sunday in practice.
“ I can tell you one thing: I’m not going to go up there and be an automatic out, because that’s not fair to my club,” Carpenter said to the AP. “It’s not fair to let the other side know that I’m not going to be swinging the bat. I’m going to be ready to go up and put a swing on the ball and try to do something.”
Cardinals centerfielder Rick Ankiel is expected to also rejoin the team soon. He is eligible to come off the disabled list as soon as Tuesday.