If Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter wanted to quantify halfway through spring training whether his relocation to second base had been successful in the eyes of the coaches, the lineups and workouts held a clue.
He only had to count the grounders.
“I have not taken a ground ball at third. I haven’t taken a ground ball at first,” Carpenter said Saturday, listing his appearances in drills and games at other positions. “I have not played the outfield. That was all according to orders. I haven’t had a rep at another position.”
With opening day three weeks away, Carpenter has moved from experiment at second base to potential regular. Manager Mike Matheny and coach Jose Oquendo both said Saturday that what Carpenter has shown in the first half of spring games is enough to play a full regular-season game there. Of his 48 innings in the field this spring, 44 have been at second and all six starts have been there. He’s yet to commit an error, has quickly corrected his foot faults and has become more instinctual about his positioning.
Most of all, he appears regular-season ready to the one person who needed to feel comfortable with the move – himself.
No more second-guessing Carpenter
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Mar 10