Matt Carpenter had a breakout season of sorts in 2012. He filled in where he could and performed above expectations. Carpenter, though, has been limited to an injury replacement and platoon role. He has been further limited by the position he played naturally - third base. Now, Carpenter is learning to play second base.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Carpenter has begun training to learn second base to open his options with the Cardinals. Carpenter saw a lot of playing time during season when regulars went down to injury. He famously stepped in during the NLDS and performed admirably when Carlos Beltran was hurt. Now, he wants to play everyday.
“Obviously I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said I didn’t want to be out there every day,” Carpenter said in a recent phone interview. “The reality of that at the positions I really play isn’t very good. If I’m going to be a guy who plays every day, it’s going to be second base, not third or in left field or right."Carpenter hit .294/.365/.463 with six home runs. He played in 114 games, but could have seen even more time had he not missed a month due to an oblique injury in May.
If Carpenter can learn second base, he will certainly see more playing time. He could land himself the starting second base job. For the Cardinals this could mean an immediate boost without having to look to the trade or free agent market. It will take a lot of work, but Carpenter seems dedicated.