Cardinals: Matt Carpenter is making history with the Yankees
Former St. Louis Cardinals infielder/outfielder/salsa legend Matt Carpenter is making history with the New York Yankees.
When the Texas Rangers released Matt Carpenter from his minor-league contract, I posed the question: Should the St. Louis Cardinals pursue him?
Naturally, the responses I received were not, uh, too nice. But it made at least some sense, especially with the Cardinals needing infielders following Paul DeJong’s struggles. And he was hitting .275/.379/.613 with a .991 OPS in 23 games in Triple-A, so he was producing at a much higher level than he was when he left St. Louis.
With the Yankees, Carpenter has emerged as a revelation. He’s hitting .333/.467/1.125 with a 1.592 OPS, six home runs and 13 RBI in 10 games. Any team could have signed him for pennies after he was released by the Rangers. Instead, he signed with the Yankees on a major-league deal, and became the first player to hit six home runs in his first 10 games with the historic franchise.
Ouch. But that’s not to say that Carpenter would have had similar results with the Cardinals. Yankee Stadium is extremely hitter friendly and plays to his strengths. That’s not to diminish any of what he has accomplished. He’s making history and providing a huge boost to the best team in baseball. But it’s fair to wonder if he would have had similar success in St. Louis.
On the YES broadcast, Carpenter said that he is trying to get back to the same level of player he was in St. Louis for all those years. He added: “I’ve come out early and taken swings. I’ve stood in a couple bullpens and I’ve done this role before. A lot of it is just how you prepare when the game is not being played.”
In place of Carpenter, the Cardinals chose to go with The Kids on the roster, and they have proven that to be a worthwhile decision. Brendan Donovan has played very well. Nolan Gorman is living up to his billing as a top prospect. Tommy Edman has been as strong and steady as ever.
So yes, while the Cardinals did not sign Carpenter, it has worked out for both sides. He’s playing at a historic level in New York while the Cardinals continue to play well with their young players.