JUPITER, Fla. – Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has apparently seen all he needs to know the experiment with Matt Carpenter at second base is no longer that. He’s now a second baseman.
“I think he’s just not somebody that we’re throwing out there as a token,” Matheny said Saturday morning. “He can play the position. He has looked very good.”
Carpenter went 4-for-4 at the plate Friday against the Nationals while starting yet again at second base. He’s yet to commit an error in the field and has looked very comfortable at the new position.
The corner infielder and outfielder worked all winter at second base and the Cardinals hoped to be able to move him there this season to get his bat in the lineup. It now appears that will happen in the regular season.
“When we watched him early on, I was very confident that it was something he was going to be able to do and he keeps doing it,” Matheny said. “He looks good on the turns and that was our main concern, making sure he was comfortable enough around the bag to stay out of harms way, but he’s making some tough plays and seems to be working well with the other infielders so that’s all we can ask of him.”
Carpenter is competing for playing time at second base with Daniel Descalso, who according to Matheny has “done a great job too. They’ve both done everything we could hope for.”
Asked if he had seen everything he needed to see to label Carpenter as a second baseman, Matheny said simply, “Yup.”
“We’re happy with what he’s done so far.”
Both figure to get playing time at second base in the regular season but the addition of Carpenter to the mix allows Descalso to possibly shift over and platoon some at shortstop with Pete Kozma.