Cheap Seats

Carpenter draws a crowd.

Anyone who doesn't think Chris Carpenter would be a huge addition to the Cardinals in 2012 -- in any capacity -- needs only to look at the photos yesterday of the St. Louis ace throwing a simulated game on the mound at Busch Stadium.

I counted 23 players, coaches and other team officials gathered around the back of the batting cage to see exactly what Carpenter had to offer. It seems like I've seen fewer people in the stands at Busch Stadium after a lengthy rain delay.

No word yet on how Carpenter is feeling today. But he apparently impressed the onlookers with his velocity and command after missing almost the entire season to his ongoing nerve issues in his pitching shoulder.

By the looks of things in Adam Wainwright's most recent two starts, the Redbirds might be in the market for a top of the rotation pitcher if they're going to make the post season. Wainwright got killed his last time out during the extended roadtrip that led the Birds through Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Washington. On Wednesday he'd given up five runs through five innings against the hapless Mets to trail 5-1 to R.A. Dickey.

It's tough to criticize his performance too much. With Rafael Furcal and Matt Holliday hurt, manager Mike Matheny rested Allen Craig and Yadier Molina. So Wainwright provided the only Cardinals offense in the first half of the game with a solo homer.

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