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Bargain or Ancient History?

You won't have to pay too much for him on draft day.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - How would you like to draft a pitcher who in his last three full seasons posted win totals of 15, 21 and 15. Better yet, you won't have to pay too much for him at all because he'll be a late-round draft choice.

Sound to good to be true?

Here's the catch...his last three full seasons were 2004 - 2006.

St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Chris Carpenter was one of the top-five pitchers in 2005 going 21-5 with 213 strikeouts, an ERA of 2.83 and a WHIP of 1.06. He was still a solid fantasy starter the following year going 15-8 with 184 Ks, a 3.09 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. But in May of 2006 he was put on the disabled list with bursitis under his right shoulder blade and struggled with various injuries for the remainder of the season.

Then disaster struck.

Carpenter had elbow problems throughout spring training of 2007, surgery in May and more invasive "Tommy John" surgery in July. He made one start, going six innings yielding nine hits and five earned runs. In 2008 he made four appearances for a total of 15 1/3 innings with an ERA of 1.76 and a WHIP of 1.30.

But just yesterday St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said he believes Carpenter will be in the 2009 Cardinals opening day rotation.

If that in fact happens, Carpenter will be overlooked and available for you to take a shot late in your draft. It's something you should do with at least one of your picks in every draft. Take a chance on a player who has a huge upside and little downside. If you pick him in the 15th round and he fails it's no big deal, but if he returns to form, he could be a huge benefit to your starting lineup.

Year Team GS W L SV IP H BB HR K ERA K/9 WHIP
2004 STL 28 15 5 0 182 169 38 24 152 3.46 7.52 1.14
2005 STL 33 21 5 0 241.2 204 51 18 213 2.83 7.93 1.06
2006 STL 32 15 8 0 221.2 194 43 21 184 3.09 7.47 1.07
2007 STL 1 0 1 0 6 9 1 0 3 7.50 4.50 1.67
2008 STL 4 0 1 0 15.1 16 4 0 7 1.76 4.11 1.30
Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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