The St. Louis Cardinals' rotation just got a little worse: Chris Carpenter's injury, originally just a persistent case of neck stiffness, is now an uncertain, sobering nerve problem. Here's the early word from B.J. Rains:
Official release says Chris Carpenter, "has nerve irritation that has led to weakness in his right shoulder." No timetable on return...— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) March 23, 2012
Carpenter, whom the Cardinals only recently counted out for opening day, now seems set to miss significantly more time—the team is no more ambivalent about his return date than they were earlier, but today's news is worse than what the Cardinals got earlier this week.
With Carpenter out of the rotation indefinitely the Cardinals' dispatching of Lance Lynn—a set-up man last year—to the starting rotation grows ever more important, as does a newly svelte Jake Westbrook's hypothetical bounceback season. Here are some other options, already batted around on SB Nation St. Louis: