After a nearly magical spring in which he hit .340 (ending on a slump, though) and ignited the club with his work ethic and enthusiasm, Matt Carpenter was sent to Memphis to begin the season.
Tony LaRussa, never one to wax enthusiastically about anyone with less than 15 years of major league experience, spent most of the spring praising The Other Carpenter. In fact, the compliments were so numerous and effusive that Carpenter seemed almost a lock to make the club. Unfortunately, the team had already made a larger financial commitment to Nick Punto to back up at third base, leaving young Carpenter without a solid footing. With Tyler Greene and Allen Craig as suitable multi-position players who can handle third in a pinch, it ultimately made more sense to keep Daniel Descalso as a reserve second baseman.
But, for a brief time, it was thrilling to see a Cardinals camp come alive with renewed optimism over the talented youths still lingering in our farm system. Kids like Carpenter, Zack Cox, and Shelby Miller could be potential stars if groomed properly and allowed to play their game (a big IF considering the office personnel). Far too often the farm system has been the butt of jokes, but it seems that the Cards have quietly stocked several gems among the wreckage.
Carpenter’s introduction left everyone assured that he will be a promising part of the future of this franchise. But, apparently, the future is not here quite yet. So Matt, pack your bags and get your ass to Memphis. Just be prepared to make that bus trip again really soon.