Should You Buy Low On Chris Carpenter?

May 24, 2011

When Adam Wainwright went down for the season, the Cardinals knew they would need to rely even heavier on their other three stars. So far they only have Matt Holliday running on all cylinders. Albert Pujols is hitting in the .260’s with very little power and Chris Carpenter only has one win as we approach late May.
Conventional wisdom indicates Albert will turn things around and it is doubtful anyone willing to sell him at a discount, but Carpenter could be a candidate you can pick up in the bargain bin.
When healthy, Carpenter is a proven winner and Cy-Young contender. Drafting Carpenter has always been an injury risk, not a performance risk. This year, Carpenter has struggled. Through May 22nd, he sits at 1-4 with a 4.88 ERA and a surprising 1.48 WHIP. Traditionally among the league leaders in WHIP, the high number is the key to his recent struggles and also provides a clue to a rebound in the near future. His BB/9
is 2.4, slightly higher than usual, but the exact same as last year when he won 16 games.
The difference is his H/9 which stands at 10.9, his highest number since 2007, when he only pitched one game before undergoing Tommy John surgery. His career H/9 is at 9 so it seems the hitters are getting lucky on him and sure enough they have a BABIP of .343, compared to a lifetime .301. As the season progresses you should expect a correction.
With a strikeout rate in-line with career average’s, Carpenter’s only other concern is run support. Although the Cardinals have the highest team batting average and are second in runs scored, Carpenter’s run support stands in the middle of the pack among MLB pitchers.
Taking everything into account as the year goes on you should expect Carpenter’s ERA and WHIP to fall and his run support to climb. That should lead to more wins. The time to buy Chris Carpenter on the cheap is now.

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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. pipa
    May 24th, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Do you think Gaby Sanchez for Carp is a good trade?

  2. LestersLegends
    May 24th, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I don’t think I would part with Sanchez for Carp.

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