JUPITER, Fl. (KMOV.com) -- Matt Carpenter will not be participating in the World Baseball Classic, as his lower back tightness has not fully resolved itself. The All-Star was planning to join team USA on after the Cardinals' game in Fort Myers Monday, but will instead remain behind with St. Louis.
Both he and pitcher Luke Weaver have missed action in recent days due to back issues, and manager Mike Matheny said the club has committed to giving them time to rest before any expectations are set on return.
That strategy would not fit with Carpenter playing in the WBC. After suffering an oblique tear last season, any rush back to action for the 31-year-old would raise concerns of a cascading effect that could expose his oblique to re-injury.
Since rest is the order of the day, it makes more sense for the team to keep him close where he can be monitored for by their doctors. At this point the move is more precautionary than a result of significant injury. Carpenter could likely return to action by the end of next week if all goes well.