‘Help me fix this’
After seeing his batting average fall from .257 in 2018 to .169 by 2021, Carpenter found himself out of job when the Cardinals decided not to pick up his club option. It was then he reached out to other players who have come to embrace analytics in their hitting approach.
Carpenter first reached out to Joey Votto, and former teammates Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Holliday, according to Rosenthal. Eventually, he ended up working with hitting geru Tim Laker, who uses an analytical approach and works with Goldschmidt and Arenado.
Laker describes his first session with Carpenter as looking “really rough”, and ‘you wouldn’t have guessed have guessed he was a big leaguer who has had the kind of success he had. He was that far gone.”
Before hooking up with Laker, Carpenter spent time at Mariucci, a bat company, using their intense approach to work on his swing. Laker and Marucci, both use similar approaches that Jeff Albert uses with the Cardinals.
Carpenter now admits, “I just never bought into (analytics) like I should have.” In other words, Carpenter is indicating he should have been more willing to embrace Jeff Albert’s philosophy.
As stated earlier, Rosenthal’s piece doesn’t mention if Mike Shildt played any role in Carpenter’s rejection of analytics. Shildt’s name isn’t even mentioned. Nevertheless, with the rumors and reports of a disconnect between Shildt and Albert(including the front office), this looks like another piece of the puzzle in Mike Shildt’s dismissal.
However, there is another Athletics piece written in October, before Shildt’s dismissal, that could be even more telling.