St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Carpenter not making case for second base
So far, Matt Carpenter is not making his case to become the St. Louis Cardinals every day second baseman over Tommy Edman.
Matt Carpenter came into spring training with an air of confidence to crush expectations and earn a spot as an everyday player for the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite no obvious position to become his permanently, he was going to get that everyday shot.
And then the St. Louis Cardinals started their spring training. Even with just a little over a week’s worth of games completed, Carpenter is only proving that he’s picked up where he left off last season.
Carpenter, 35, has played in six games for the Cardinals so far. He has made three assists and helped turn a double play at second base. He earned an All-Star appearance at this position so he does seem to have retained his skills at the position. At the plate, however, Carpenter is hitting .000/.188/.000 in 13 plate appearances with three walks and seven strikeouts.
That’s horrible. He’s not even making a case to become the Cardinals designated hitter if there was a universal DH this season.
Let’s compare this with Tommy Edman, the player the Cardinals penciled in as their everyday second baseman after the departure of Gold Glover Kolten Wong.
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Edman, 25, has played in five games for the Cards. He’s had two assists and helped turn one double play. In 11 plate appearances, Edman is hitting .364/.417/.455 with a double and a stolen base.
It’s early, but Edman is doing so much better at the plate. At second base, it is obvious he’s been working hard on his mechanics to get better at the position. It does help both Edman and Carpenter to have
Jose Oquendo working with them.
I have previously written that Carpenter is a giant game of what-if for the Cardinals. It is very early in spring training and Carpenter still has plenty of time to work on his hitting and get better at second base, or whichever position they put him in. It’s very frustrating to see him basically look like he’s continuing where he left off last season. I’m sure he’s more frustrated than the fan base.
Hopefully, he uses the coming weeks to improve and not stew and fret on the situation. Otherwise, Tommy Edman is making the decision to make him the everyday second baseman look good.