Dave Duncan joined 101ESPN on Tuesday to discuss Chris Carpenter and his setback. Here’s a little what he had to say:
- ON WHERE CARPENTER RANKS IN PITCHERS THAT HE HAS HAD: “He ranks right up there at the top in more ways than one, and I was listening to you guys earlier and all the complements you were giving him were well deserved. He’s had a great career especially with the Cardinals.”
- ON DIFFERENCE HE MADE IN CLUBHOUSE:: “Early in my career as a pitching coach, I learned that if you had a guy that had the qualities that Chris Carpenter had as far as leadership ability and communication skills and to take those leadership skills in a positive direction, you really had to create a situation to give him the opportunity to do that. I was blessed to have Chris Carpenter for ten years, and right from the time he came over, he was a presence not only on the field but in the clubhouse, setting the example of how you should work to get the most out of your abilities and physically train to do your job and how to conduct yourself as a professional. I really think the influence that Chris has had over his career with the Cardinals has really helped a lot of guys develop into the kind of pitcher that pitching coaches want; they compete when given the ball, take care of themselves physically, present themselves properly in the community and take on the responsibility that a starting pitcher has to the city, to the franchise, and to his teammates. Chris exemplified what you want from a person in that role and at the same time was a tremendous contributor on the field.”
- ON WHAT DUNCAN LEARNED FROM CARPENTER: “I learned a lot about picking up pitchers that were tipping pitches from chris, and I think he taught Wainwright a lot about that as well. He was very good at that…We paid a lot of attention to it, and so I think that helped him develop his ability to pick up little things that pitchers would do to tip their pitches, and I know he used to always get the assignment when one of our pitchers we felt like might be tipping their pitches to put his eyes on him and watch him to see if he can pick anything up. And a lot of times, he would, and I would say “What do you see?” and he might tell me something that I never even thought to look at when I was watching the pitcher and I think in that area he really helped me in my ability to pick those things up.”
- ON CARP’S PASSION FOR BASEBALL: “You just have total respect for it: the way he would go out there and compete, the way that he would take the ball when it was his turn to pitch unless he was just flat out broken, and there were a lot of times he would go out there when he wasn’t even close to being 100%, but you would see him compete with what he had. And most of the time, he would give the club a chance to win. I’ve been lucky to have a few guys like that, but none that were better than Chris Carpenter.
- ON KEYS FOR A YOUNG ROTATION TO SUCCEED: “I think the biggest thing is developing a level of consistency. Throughout the course of the season, each one of those guys is going to hit rough spots and they’ve got to learn how to recover from performances that don’t meet up to their standards and don’t let them affect them mentally, and that’s something you have to learn to deal with. When you have a guy like Chris Carpenter around, he really helps teach those young guys how to deal with that. Fortunately, the Cardinals have Adam Wainwright, who has learned from Carpenter…so he’s going to be there with the younger guys and he’s going to be able to supplement what Carpenter was able to give. They’re fortunate in that standpoint, but when you have a young pitching staff, you’re not only trying to teach them how to get hitters out, you’re teaching them what they have to do take the ball every fifth day, how to prepare, how to take every start that they make throughout the course of the season and make it important, and that’s the only way you can have a big year.”
- ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR CARPENTER: “I want to see him do what makes him and his family happy…Resign to the fact that your career is over and start thinking about what you want to do with your life. And if doing something in baseball is part of what he wants to do in his future, then I’m sure that there will be plenty of opportunity for him to do that.”
- HOW EXCITED CARDINALS SHOULD BE FOR 2013: “Well I would be excited. I think my biggest concern right now is Lance Lynn bouncing back from a really terrific year and being a consistent steady performer, as well as Jaime Garcia being helathy and being able to pitch at the level that he needs to pitch at for the Cardinals to compete. Joe Kelly excites me, Trevor Rosenthal excites me, Carlos Martinez exictes me, and Shelby miller is an exciting young pitcher. I think they’re all going to be seen in the spring, and I just hope that they’ve really gotten themselves ready to go to Spring Training and that they don’t try to do too much too early in the spring and don’t have to deal with any physical problems.”