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Chris Carpenter Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Ace Plays Catch; Return Still Uncertain

The St. Louis Cardinals got to see longtime ace Chris Carpenter throw Wednesday, but it wasn't quite so high-intensity as they might have hoped this late in spring training: He was playing catch, and, all things considered, feeling pretty good about it. It came the same day as Lance Lynn's strongest claim yet to his nebulous sixth-starter role—he struck out three in as many scoreless innings, going 40 pitches for the first time since last June after a summer spent mostly in relief.

With Lynn—and top prospect Shelby Miller lurking behind him—the Cardinals have the depth to weather an absent April from Carpenter, but with Jake Westbrook already shaky at the back of the major league rotation they have plenty of incentive to hope for his rapid return.

The Cardinals won't know more about Chris Carpenter for a few days, but with no setbacks since the initial problems it seems like he's progressing on track—the only question is where that track is supposed to lead.