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Chris Carpenter suffers setback

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
<player idref=Cardinals co-ace Chris Carpenter was already doubtful for opening day, but now there's almost no chance he'll be ready for the April 4 opener in Miami. Of course, Carpenter and the Cardinals may have deeper worries at the moment.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Carpenter, who's been laid up with a bulging disk in his neck, felt weakness after a recent bullpen session. As a result, he's been sent back to St. Louis to consult with a nerve specialist. As Strauss points out, this turn of events raises concerns that Carpenter's present malady is related to the nerve problems he suffered in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

This means that right-hander Lance Lynn, who's been exceptional this spring, will replace Carpenter in the rotation, although the Cards likely won't need a fifth starter until late April.

Should Carpenter's timetable winds up somewhere deep into the summer, then the market for Roy Oswalt might get a little more interesting ...
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