clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is Chris Carpenter Done, Or Is BAbip Just Really, Really Cruel?

Chris Carpenter's struggles in 2011, following Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Reds, have officially gotten ridiculous. Carpenter has a 4.95 ERA and has now allowed more hits than innings pitched in six of his nine starts, despite striking out 6.71 batters per nine innings. His BAbip is now over .330, which means his still-solid K:BB ratio isn't enough to keep him from getting replacement-player results through nine starts. So is he done?

↵

He's probably done being Chris Carpenter. 2009 and 2010 were a remarkable return to form from a pitcher who missed most of two seasons with the most serious kinds of arm problems, but it's never a bad idea to bet against a 36-year-old pitcher with a history of elbow and shoulder problems failing to compete for a Cy Young Award.

↵

But I'd be stunned if he's done as an above-average pitcher. Carpenter's stuff is, statistically, as solid as ever, and right now he's being kept from solid-contributor status mostly by brutal luck on balls in play and hit in the air. As that evens out—one hopes it will, say, starting tomorrow—he could pitch exactly as he is now and return to form. Not as an ace, but as a steady and consistent positive to the Cardinals' rotation.

↵