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The Legacy of Chris Carpenter: Savior in St. Louis

Thursday October 18th, 2012

Chris Carpenter started his career in Toronto after being the 15th overall selection in the 1994 draft. After the 2001 season, the Toronto Blue Jays made a calculated decision not to offer Carpenter a major league contract. He elected for free agency, rather than pitching in the minors for Toronto, and his legacy in St. Louis began when the Cardinals picked him up.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):

The legend of Chris Carpenter started as a 19-year-old pitching for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays in 1994.  He was the 15th overall pick by the World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 draft.  He was a physical specimen built to stand atop a 9.5” hill and stare down at hitters as they stared back at his 6 foot, 6 inch frame.  Drafted out of Manchester, New Hampshire, the 19-year-old already had a plus fastball and a nice curveball.  By 1997, at the age of 22, Chris Carpenter had broken into the Toronto Blue Jays rotation and was pitching against the best hitters in the world.

As a mid-season call up in 1997, Carpenter struggled in Toronto, hosting an ERA above 5.00 and a record of 3-7 over 13 games.  His role in Toronto was mostly to eat innings, and he was there to gain experience and hopefully blossom into what the Blue Jays brass new head could be.  He was in a rotation that consisted of the 1996 AL Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen, as well as the 1997 AL Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, so he had some serious  mentors to help guide him on breaking into the big leagues.  Despite his amazing talent, Carpenter struggled for most of his first season in Toronto and was eventually moved into the bullpen.  In 1998 however, he emerged and gave everyone at least a glimpse  of what would eventually come of Chris Carpenter, while proving himself to already be a competent starter capable of winning games.  He led the Toronto Blue Jays (tied with Pat Hentgen) with 12 wins in 1998, and continued to pitch well into 1999…at least until he became cursed by a spell of injuries. Read the rest of this entry

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What to Expect from Tim Lincecum in the Second Half: The Return of the Giants Ace to Form?

Thursday July 12th, 2012

Sam Evans: Tim Lincecum has been proving doubters wrong his whole life. Despite his small frame, Lincecum has managed to win the Golden Spikes award and two N.L. Cy Young awards. However, in 2012 Lincecum hasn’t looked like the same pitcher. He has not only lost velocity on his fastball, but his numbers across the board are not what we expected from one of the best pitchers in the game. It’s hard to conclude what has caused Lincecum to struggle in his first fifteen starts. But the question on everyone’s mind is: what is next for Lincecum?

From 2007 to 2011, Tim Lincecum ranked fifth in Wins Above Replacement among all starting pitchers. He was simply dominant. In 2008 and 2009, Lincecum became the first pitcher ever to win back-to-back Cy Young awards in their first two full seasons. The Giants largely owe their 2010 World Series title to Lincecum and his 2.43 ERA in the playoffs. Heading into the 2012 season, the Giants reportedly offered Lincecum a five-year, $100 million contract, which he turned down to sign a two-year deal worth about $40 million. Looking back at it, Lincecum probably should have taken the deal which offered him long-term security. Read the rest of this entry

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