Earlier this season, former Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter had a huge achievement.
He was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. And while there’s no doubting he deserves that honor, the question we are here to discuss is: does he deserve induction into another Hall of Fame?
Welcome to another Sunday, and another edition of “The Cooperstown case”.
Alright, let’s take a look at the career of Carpenter and see if he has one more Hall of Fame induction potentially looming for him.
On May 12th, 1997, Carpenter made his Major League Baseball debut for the Blue Jays. It didn’t go in his favor, as the Blue Jays lost 12-2. However, he ERA skyrocketed to over 12.71, and he went back to Syracuse. Eventually, he returned to the big leagues, and by the time his career in Toronto had ended, he amassed a record of 49-50, an ERA of 4.83, 12 complete games (five of them being shutouts).
However, one of the biggest issues that hampers Carpenter’s chances of even being mentioned for Cooperstown… injury history. Carpenter lost nearly five seasons due to the amount of injuries he dealt with, including shoulder, elbow, and rib cage injuries.
After being released by the Blue Jays in 2002, he signed with the Cardinals in 2003. And his career really begun to take off. In 2004, his first year as a starter, Carpenter went 15-5 with an ERA of 3.46. But the following season was his best, winning over 20 games (21) an ERA under 2.90 (2.83), and winning the National League Cy Young Award, the first Cardinals pitcher to do so since Bob Gibson.
Carpenter was also known for his clutch postseason performances, none better than in 2011, when he out-dueled friend Roy Halliday in Game 5 of the NLDS between the Cardinals and Phillies. Carpenter pitched a 1-0 shutout that evening, helping keep the magical season alive for St. Louis (and they eventually won the World Series).
From 2004–11, Carpenter posted a 3.06 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 1331 2⁄3 innings. As stated earlier, his injury history and amount of overall missed time does have an impact on his case for even consideration for induction.
So, do you believe there’s any case for Carpenter for induction into Cooperstown?
Feel free to discuss and tune in next week!