JUPITER, Fl. (KMOV.com) -- Matt Carpenter is back in uniform for the Cardinals Thursday, manning first base and batting ninth.
He almost certainly will not swing, as indicated by his low spot in the order. The plan is simply to get Carpenter defensive reps at his new position, which he is medically cleared to do.
“This is a new position for him on an everyday basis. To get out there and have the game speed is really important,” Mike Matheny said.
Carpenter has been doing full speed work on the practice fields, and once the medical team cleared him for defense in a live game, he approached Matheny requesting to play.
Carpenter is one of the game’s best hitters. He is perhaps the game’s greenest first baseman. He will likely be able to swing at some point next week, but his work at the plate is secondary to developing the muscle memory and instincts required of a first baseman, especially at this juncture in spring.
Trevor Rosenthal and Luke Weaver will both throw bullpen sessions Thursday. Weaver has been out with lower back tightness since his second outing of spring. He was pulled from the game after recording two outs and later said he felt some discomfort before he threw. Rosenthal was scheduled to start Monday in Fort Myers in place of Carlos Martinez (who is with the Dominican WBC team), but experienced soreness in his right lat after a one-inning tuneup appearance over the weekend.
Both pitchers hope to return to game action this weekend, though it will like be some time before they can start and throw multiple innings.
Major League Baseball officially announced Thursday plans for the Pirates and Cardinals to play in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The August 20 game, originally scheduled to be a home contest for Pittsburgh, will be played during the Little League World Series and be broadcast on ESPN.
The expected site of the game is BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, a 4,200-set stadium and one of the oldest minor league ballparks in the country. The move is reminiscent of last summer’s Fort Bragg game, which featured the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves. MLB constructed a stadium for that contest.