Early Exit for Carpenter

(Busch Stadium) The power of the salsa and Matt Carpenter has now reached epic proportions.

“Definitely dodged a bullet there,” said Carpenter, who was struck by a 7th inning pitch and had to leave tonight’s game. “Initially, it got me good and turned some swelling and purple, pretty scary stuff. We took an x-ray, took some strength tests, part of the protocol was opening a jar of salsa. I was able to do that fine, so I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Seriously, he opened a jar of his salsa.

“I was pleading my case to be ready to go tomorrow and I told Adam Olsen, if I can go in there and open a jar of salsa right now then I should be fine,” explained Carpenter. “I don’t know if it necessarily has healing powers, but if I can open it I can play.”

X-rays on the top of Carpenter’s right hand were negative, but he admits that early on there was a real fear of injury.

“Yeah, with what happened to Paul (DeJong) earlier this year, it was definitely a scary situation,” he said. “The color of it initially, that’s what worried me. As Chris Conroy (trainer) was tugging on it, it didn’t feel great but I think that was just the initial kind of shock. Once I got in, the pain started to go down a little bit and the swelling started to go down. X-rays were good and I feel good. I’m ready to go.”

Earlier in the game, Carpenter was intentionally walked to extend his on-base streak to 33 consecutive games, which is the leading active mark in MLB.

WACHA AND MARTINEZ READY FOR REHAB

–After throwing bullpen sessions today, both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha are ready to head out on rehab or their next step in recovery.

“The pain’s gone,” said Wacha, who has been testing his oblique with various exercises. “Able to run, cover first, move around and stuff.”

Martinez has been on the disabled list since July 31st with a shoulder strain, while Wacha has been on the DL since June 21st with a strained left oblique.

“It kind of just caught me off guard,” said Wacha. “I didn’t know how much you needed your oblique for basically everything. It was a struggle getting out of bed, getting off the couch, you feel it on everything. Every breath. Every sneeze. Every cough. Once that went away, after a couple weeks or so, it’s been nice. Able to start getting in the weight room, working out, and getting strong. It’s been feeling really good.”

Things progressed to Wacha swinging a bat yesterday as he began hitting off a tee.

“Being in the NL, that’s definitely a thing,” he reminded. “Obviously, it was real light. But it’s coming along, making progress.”

Earlier this week President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak shared each pitcher would throw one more bullpen before their next progression–Wacha being built back up for the rotation and Martinez moving to a role in the Cardinals bullpen.

photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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