Matt Carpenter may end up having a much larger role with Cardinals

The Cardinals are struggling offensively and may be forced to make some major changes. One such change could include inserting Matt Carpenter in the lineup on a daily basis.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

We've talked ad nauseam about how poorly the Cardinals' offense has performed up to this point. But what could be done to fix it?

It's clear that what the Cardinals are throwing out there on a daily basis isn't helping them win games. Aside from Willson Contreras, Nolan Arenado, and Masyn Winn, the offense has been pretty dead.

Not even the returns of Matt Carpenter and Tommy Edman will make this offense one of the top 10 in baseball, but they may help them make a few incremental improvements. In this piece, we'll focus on Carpenter and how his role may end up being bigger than we initially thought.

Why Matt Carpenter could play a bigger role than anticipated

Carpenter has missed significant time with an oblique injury, but reports indicate that he's close to returning. No, it won't make the Cardinals' offense magically click. But it can help.

When Carpenter was signed, he was not intended to be an everyday player. He was mainly added for the value he brings to the clubhouse, as well as bench depth. However, that may ultimately change when he's activated from the injured list.

The 38-year-old is off to a good start. He had a strong spring and owns a .300 batting average in his first 10 at-bats. But with players such as Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt struggling so badly, the Cardinals may not have a choice but to give Carpenter more playing time.

When he comes back from the injured list, I don't think it would necessarily hurt to make him the starting first baseman over Goldschmidt. Obviously, you don't want to bench Goldschmidt, but the truth is, he's not producing at the plate, and in order to win, you need your best possible lineup out there on a daily basis. Right now, Goldschmidt can't be part of that, not with the way he's currently hitting.

So, what harm would it do to make Carpenter a full-time player? It would likely only be temporary, but the Cardinals need a spark. Again, is this going to make the offense elite? No, but it can't hurt to try. At this point, if nobody is going to get fired, they have to try anything that makes sense in order to shake things up. Carpenter coming back gives Oli Marmol more options and the ability to be flexible with the lineup in an effort to just get something going.

Carpenter is a guy who has done it before and is familiar with the grind of a 162-game season. He's used to regular at-bats and it's something he could get accustomed to quickly. Goldschmidt isn't producing, and it's time the Cardinals actually did something about it and sent a strong message to those who aren't getting the job done.

We'll see if Marmol decides to try something like this when Carpenter returns from the IL.