Could the St. Louis Cardinals pursue a reunion with Matt Carpenter? It may seem unlikely, but it’s not as crazy as you might think.
OK, let me get ahead of this. After how Matt Carpenter performed with the St. Louis Cardinals in recent seasons, a reunion would seem to make little sense. But his numbers in Triple-A this season – .275/.379/.613 in 21 games – perhaps reveal that he may have turned a corner.
And he’s now available, as the Texas Rangers released Carpenter on Thursday afternoon in a mutual parting of ways. “We appreciate Matt’s leadership and the example he set during his time with the organization,” Rangers executive Jon Daniels said.
With the Cardinals’ lack of infield depth, especially with Paul DeJong in Triple-A and Edmundo Sosa battling an ankle strain, they could use another option. Hence where Carpenter would step in. He’s someone that the organization is familiar with, having played 11 major-league seasons in St. Louis, and could provide short-term relief in the meantime and allow them to continue developing Nolan Gorman in the minors.
I know that me suggesting signing Carpenter and keeping Gorman in the minors is going to catch some flack, and I totally understand that. But here’s part of the equation when considering Gorman: while he is hitting .308/.367/.677 with a 1.044 OPS and 15 homers in Triple-A, he has struck out 50 times in 133 at-bats. He also hit only .125/.125/.125 with seven strikeouts in 16 at-bats in major-league spring training.
While Gorman is a tantalizing prospect and a significant part of the Cardinals future, big league pitching could take advantage of his swing and miss tendencies early on. The organization is being mindful not to call him up too early, which is why we are seeing Sosa, Brendan Donovan and others in the majors before Gorman.
Carpenter would provide another veteran bat in that equation and wouldn’t block Gorman once he is indeed ready to be called up. I don’t know what the likelihood of this scenario is – it’s just me speculating – but the Cardinals could do worse here. You never know.