Player Spotlight: Matt Carpenter
The new unsung hero in St. Louis is the new corner infielder, Matt Carpenter. Throughout the first eleven games of the season the rookie has shown that he finally belongs on the big league team, and it really is a shame that he cannot play second base. He has mainly filled in for Lance Berkman at first when he missed 4 games in a row with a calf strain. He also has come off the bench to pinch hit, and he has played for Mr. Freese at third. In the 9 games that he has appeared in Carpenter owns a .409 average (9-22) he has two doubles, two triples, a homerun, and he is tied with Freese for the team lead with 11 RBI. He is off to a great start and should have secured his spot on the team, making Tyler Greene even closer to the end of his Cardinal career.
Carpenter,26, was drafted by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 2009 draft, seemingly an unknown player from Texas Christian University. After an average first year in the Cardinals minor league system, the little Carpenter broke out in the 2010 where he was named the Cardinals minor league player of the year. In that season he put up good numbers a .309 AVG, 13 HR, and 69 RBI while also swiping 11 stolen bases.
It was last years spring training however when Carpenter really made a name for himself. He fought his way to the final cuts where many believed he still should have made the team, despite only playing third base. Instead he was sent down to AAA where he spent nearly all of 2011. Carpenter was eventually called up during a time when David Freese was hurt with a fractured hand. But Carpenter really struggled batting just .067 and was sent down shortly ending the hype surrounding him, or so we thought.
As 2012 spring training began, Matt Carpenter decided to work on his versatility in hopes of making the big league club. He learned how to play the corner outfield positions as well as first base, on top of his known position of third base. Carpenter once again impressed having another huge spring, and Mike Matheny made the decision to give Carpenter the final infield bench spot. Now Carpenter is out of all his options and if the Cardinals elect to send him down he would have to go through waivers, and at the rate he is going there is NO chance that he would pass through waivers. This means that certain players will be on the chopping block and the first name that comes to mind is the failed prospect of Tyler Greene.