The St. Louis Cardinals are preparing for an important season this spring, but Matt Carpenter has struggled mightily in the preseason.
As we all recall, things were pretty quiet in the NL Central this winter. There were minimal moves made between all five teams and they did not cost much. But then the St. Louis Cardinals went scorched earth on the rivals. They re-signed pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina, but those are nothing compared to their blockbuster trade that landed them Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
After acquiring the star corner infielder, the Cardinals are expected to take the division in 2021 and potentially make a run in the postseason. The team, like their 29 counterparts, are getting ready for the upcoming campaign via spring training. While most of the starters are playing strong, one of the bigger disappointments of the spring is infielder Matt Carpenter.
Cardinals: Matt Carpenter’s spring struggles could result in lack of starts
In the 2020 season, Carpenter spent the majority of his time paying at third base. That is obviously out the window with Arenado on the Cardinals. But, Carpenter does bring versatility to the team, as he can play nearly every position in the infield. The issue is, Carpenter has been dreadful in the batters box.
Carpenter has played in 10 games this spring and he has a grand total of one hit in 22 at-bats. That is right, just one hit. That lone knock came on a March 14 game against the New York Mets, which came on an RBI double off pitcher Aaron Loup. But other than that, Carpenter has been ineffective at the plate.
Based off this spring, starts are going to be hard to come by for Carpenter, who said he does not view himself as a part-time player. But he has to start seeing the rather clear picture. Arenado has third base locked, so does Paul Goldschmidt at first base. The only realistic chance he had at earning an everyday spot in the lineup was by winning a competition against Tommy Edman at second. Yet, Edman has been tremendous this spring, as he is slashing .417/.440/.500 with 10 hits and four runs scored. In fact, manager Mike Shildt stated Edman will be the team’s leadoff hitter to start the 2021 season.
Carpenter will be a part of the Cardinals roster in 2021, but he will likely be a bench option.