ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- It's an odd fit, for sure. Most second basemen don't stand 6'3" and weigh 200 pounds. But, then again, most teams in major league baseball don't have someone on its bench that have an .828 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
Matt Carpenter is going to get every opportunity next offseason to get as much time as he deserves at second base. A year after hitting .294 with 33 extra base hits in less than 300 at-bats it's time to find more of a role for the 26-year old.
He's an everyday player without an everyday position. And I don't mean he doesn't physically have the ability to play a position everyday. I mean there just isn't one available given what he does. First base? Allen Craig. Third base? David Freese. Left field? Matt Holliday. Right field? Carlos Beltran.
There's no obvious solution at the moment at second base and, because of that, Carpenter has been told to learn how to play the position this winter. If he can do it, great. More time for him. If he can't, well, no big deal. He'll just continue to get at-bats backing up those other guys.
But the fact the Cards are willing to let Carpenter compete at a position he isn't really taylor made for speaks to his ability with the bat. The TCU-alum has shown such incredible patience and poise at the plate. He knows his strike zone about as well as any 26-year old in the game.
Carpenter took 34 walks last year to give him a .365 on-base percentage. He never really showed much gap power in the minors but hit 22 doubles as a rookie in St. Louis. That means he's getting better. He's discovering his weaknesses and addressing them through hard work.
That's why even though Carpenter's not your typical second basemen, I'm intrigued to see what he can do. Like I said before, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. You lost nothing.
But you could gain an extra bat in the lineup everyday if it works.