St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Carpenter at third and other experiments

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 30: Matt Carpenter
MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 30: Matt Carpenter /

The St. Louis Cardinals will face the Washington Nationals on Sunday in one of the final Sunday competitions of Spring Training and the lineup shows some interesting experiments.

The St. Louis Cardinals have a very interesting lineup for their Sunday contest facing the Washington Nationals. The lineup is absent a few assumed opening day starters like Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong but it does illustrate a few questions the front office is mulling.

As has been discussed here at Redbird Rants, Dexter Fowler is set to appear today and in the main season at the leadoff spot. Yesterday, Russ championed for Fowler at the leadoff spot over Matt Carpenter and if today’s lineup is any indication of the lineup in the regular season then perhaps the front office was listening.

Related Story: Fowler ignites offsense from leadoff spot

Fowler’s spot in the lineup isn’t the most interesting “experiment” in play today. Before discussing the experimental elements, let me point out that these moves would not have been experiments in past seasons.

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So what are the experiments you might ask? First, Carpenter is appearing at third base in today’s game for the first time this spring. The St. Louis Cardinals have high hopes that Carpenter can spell the infield utility player they seek playing multiple positions to allow Jose Martinez his way into the lineup.

Today’s experiment will be to see if Carpenter (and his ailing back and shoulder) still has what it takes to play the hot corner. Can he throw across the diamond without pain? To this point, perhaps tomorrow will be the real experimental test– to see if Carpenter feels well enough after having played several innings at third.

The second experiment today is Jedd Gyorko at second base. Gyorko appeared at second base in only five games in 2017 but has appeared at second in 370 games in his career. Today’s test will be to see if he can still play second AND to see if his bat will awaken this spring. Here’s a look at his sleepy numbers thus far:

2018 Spring Training

These numbers just don’t match up to the powerful performance Gyorko posted at the plate last season.

Standard Batting
5 Yrs6172345213324352288499297106180531.245.305.429.73410291558140185
STL (2 yrs)253919826110213303501266284201.258.324.483.807111399231082

The St. Louis Cardinals might have missed the window on trading Gyorko when the getting was good but today’s contest could raise his value.

But hold the press because these two- while likely the more important experiements- are not the only ones in today’s game. Greg Garcia is getting yet another look as the St. Louis Cardinals work to decide to keep or DFA the left-handed backup utility player.

Additionally, Randy Arozarena is getting yet another look in left field. Arozarena has been very impressive for the St. Louis Cardinals this spring. Take a look at his numbers:

2018 Spring Training

Arozarena can play both second base and the outfield as he has shown in his minor league career. This is important because it indicates that the Cardinals are indeed seeking a super utility player. Arozarena’s experiment today will give him a chance to match or better the play of Yairo Munoz who is the assumed super utility player to break camp with the Cardinals.

The game starts at 12:05pm CT and is aired on FS-Midwest. I will be watching; will you?

Next: Ideal roster additions

Let me know what you think of today’s experiments and thanks for reading! Go Cardinals!