Cardinals look to Lynn as Carpenter heals from neck injury

Monday, March 12, 2012 | 3:22 p.m. CDT

JUPITER, Fla. — Lance Lynn is the St. Louis Cardinals' "Plan B" for dealing with the potential absence of former Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter.

Expected to be a member of the bullpen at the start of camp, Lynn is a possible starter in case Carpenter is unable to recover from a bulging disc in his neck. The Cardinals are also considering rookie Shelby Miller, a former No. 1 pick.

A 24-year-old right-hander, Lynn will make his first start of the spring Wednesday against Houston. Both of Lynn's appearances so far this this spring have been in relief. He allowed two runs — one earned — in two innings while striking out three in his spring debut against Washington. He also threw a scoreless inning Saturday against Miami.

Lynn made his major league debut in 2011, going 1-1 in 18 appearances (two starts) with a 3.12 ERA. He also appeared in 10 postseason games, accumulating a 2-0 record.

Carpenter left Friday's practice with a stiff neck. He was scheduled to pitch one of Monday's split squad games, but the Cardinals decided to send Jaime Garcia to the mound against Atlanta and start Miller against Washington.

Carpenter, who turns 37 next month, has yet to pitch in a game this spring. Early in camp, manager Mike Matheny said Carpenter would be on a relaxed schedule this spring in an attempt to lessen the workload on his arm.

Last year, Carpenter posted an 11-9 regular season record before going 4-0 in the postseason for the World Series champions. He threw 237 innings in 2011, surpassing the 190-inning mark in each of the past three seasons.

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