> Matt Carpenter started at second in today’s Spring Training game. He was only at second for five innings, but nothing went wrong in those five innings. In fact, he turned a pretty slick double play along with Ronny Cedeno.
The experiment of Carpenter at second base has the potential to make a huge difference for the 2013 Cardinals. Matt Carpenter, with pedestrian defense, would win more games for the Cardinals if he started every day than Daniel Descalso would. However, as we saw last year, Daniel Descalso’s defense is giving him priority over better hitters who don’t field the position well.
Jose Oquendo said a couple weeks ago that Carpenter was ahead of Skip Schumaker defensively (while conceding that that’s not that hard to do.) Assuming that’s true, this makes Carpenter on paper the clear choice for the starting job. He can produce runs at the plate while costing little if any in the field.
And really, Descalso’s value can be increased if he is a back-up. With him on the bench you have a lefty who hits well against lefties–a perfect wrench to throw in the cogs of opposing managers’ lefty-righty strategies. And once he pinch-hits against the lefty that faces Carpenter late in a game, he becomes a great late defensive replacement.
I like Descalso, but I’d like him best if he was being used in the most effective way. Which is why I hope Carpenter keeps making the most of these opportunities.
> Here’s the full Cardinals Spring Training TV broadcast schedule, complete with all MLB.tv broadcasts.
> Jeff Loria, the worst owner in Baseball, thinks whatever’s left of his fanbase is comprised of idiots.