Matt Carpenter’s flexibility and offense last season were a big reason why the St. Louis Cardinals were successful last year. At various times last season he played every position except catching and shortstop. All the while, his offense was exceptional. In 114 games, he hit .294, an OBP of .365, slugging % of .463 while hitting 6 homers, 46 rbis, 22 doubles and 5 triples.
So why are so many being skeptical of his attempt at playing and becoming the Cards’ everyday second baseman? Here is why I think he will excel at second base:
- He has Jose Oquendo mentoring him every step of the way. Oquendo was the one who was instrumental in helping former Cardinal Skip Schumaker in playing second base for the Cardinals. And despite what many believe, I think Skip was fine at that position. And prior to that, he was an outfielder; and that’s not easy to do. Oquendo says Carpenter is doing fine; and I believe him.
- This isn’t Carpenter’s first time playing the infield. And if you’ve played an infield position most of your career, playing a different position in the infield than what you’re used to is just a matter of hard work for some.
- The Cardinals can take it “easy” on him early on by bringing in a more experienced and defensive minded second baseman in late innings.
Here’s the thing; I don’t think any of the coaches or front office have doubts of Carpenter being successful. Otherwise, I don’t think they would have asked him to “work” on playing second base in the offseason.
So, instead of some of you laying bets on how long Carpenter will play second before he’s pulled, how about betting on how successful he will be playing that position. Kolten Wong isn’t quite ready to take over every day duties and the Cards aren’t likely to obtain a free agent or trade for a second baseman at this point. So, how about rallying behind Carpenter instead of doubting his ability. Have a little faith Cardinal Nation; we should know by now that faith goes a long way.
Thanks for reading.