Daily Distractions: Cardinals need a starter; Astros need a dime; happy birthday Hank.

Chris  CarpenterSt. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is expected to miss the entire 2013 season and may be forced to retire due to a series of injuries.

The 37-year-old was bothered by a nerve issue in his shoulder that limited him to five games last season. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Carpenter currently has health concerns in his right shoulder, arm and neck.

Significantly for the Dodgers, who have a surplus of starters one week before pitchers and catchers are expected to report for spring training, the GM added that he’s “comfortable” with his starting rotation as it’s composed. Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller are the right-handers; Jaime Garcia is the lone left-hander but he’s questionable to start the season because of an elbow injury.

Free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse went 16-3 for the Cardinals last season and would be a sensible replacement. If Mozeliak decides one lefty starter isn’t enough, he might end up calling Ned Colletti, who has two veteran southpaws (Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly)  entering camp with no assurance of a spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Lilly has health concerns too – he’s 37 and hasn’t pitched a major-league game since May 23 of last year – and is coming off arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September.

The circumstances seem ripe for a trade, but it will hinge on both GM’s sense of urgency. Publicly, Colletti and Mozeliak say they’re in no rush to resolve their rotation situations, but we’ll see if that changes.

Onto the links …

• If you’re an MLB.tv subscriber, you’ll want to check out the new, longer list of approved devices for 2013.

• If there are 50 ways to leave your lover, there must be 50 more ways to put the Houston Astros’ paltry payroll in perspective. Jed Lowrie recently signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract to become the team’s third-highest paid player (per Cots) and the fourth-highest if you include Phildelphia Phillies pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who’s still owed a team-high $5 million by the Astros this season. On Monday Lowrie was traded to Oakland for Chris Carter and two minor-leaguers. Yahoo now calculates that 20 players will make more money in 2013 than the entire Houston team, including Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

• Happy 79th birthday, Hank Aaron.

• Former Dodger Karim Garcia (via MLB.com): “When you’ve been out of the (United) States for so long, they just kind of forget about you.”

• Garcia’s resumé, via Wikipedia:

• Only a handful of MLB arbitration-eligible players remain unsigned. Here they are.

• The song “Scale It Back” by DJ Shadow feat. Little Dragon is one of the best and most-covered electronic tracks in recent memory. We know of at least 400 remixes, via an online contest that gave rise to these 15 tracks. Here’s my favorite submission that didn’t make the final cut:

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