July 5: Rockies (31-50) @ Cardinals (43-39)
Interesting twist to the lineup tonight, as manager Mike Matheny inserts Matt Carpenter in as his second baseman. We knew Carpenter would be a versatile option for the Cards this season. It’s hard to say, though, that many expected Carpenter to make an appearance at this particular defensive spot.
Carpenter guessed he last played second base on his 13-year-old baseball team. He’s not going in completely cold, though, as he has been taking grounders at the position for the last few days. Still, he’s never played the position at game speed, and that could present some challenges. Atop the list of questions is how Carpenter fares turning double plays.
Matheny’s motives are clear — he wants to find a way to get Carpenter’s bat in the lineup. And with the corner outfielders (Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran) and the corner infielders (David Freese and Allen Craig) not going anywhere soon, there has been little opportunity for Carpenter to get involved. This is that chance.
The way Carpenter adapted to first base and the outfield so seamlessly gives the Cardinals confidence that Carpenter can find his way at second, too.
“He’s worked on it and he’ll continue to work,” Matheny said. “It’ll be different for him, no question. He’s impressed everyone around here by the way he goes about his at-bats. He’s as good as anybody, really, in putting together a tough one. There’s just something about a guy deserving an opportunity to get out there. You have to find a spot for him.”
Some other items of potential interest:
- Matheny said that the Cardinals do intend to send Lance Berkman out on a Minor League rehab assignment before Berkman comes off the DL. Berkman has been outspoken before about his dislike of such assignments. However, he will have missed about two months by the time he comes back.
- The Cardinals will not limit Lance Lynn from being available to pitch in the All-Star Game. It helps that next Tuesday would be Lynn’s normal day to pitch.
- Replacing Barret Browning on the Pacific Coast League team will be pitcher Brandon Dickson. He will be Triple-A Memphis’ lone representative. Browning was called up to the Majors on Saturday.
- The Cardinals have determined their rotation order out of the All-Star break but have not yet announced it.
- Rafael Furcal (SS)
- Jon Jay (CF)
- Matt Holliday (LF)
- Carlos Beltran (RF)
- Allen Craig (1B)
- Yadier Molina (C)
- David Freese (3B)
- Matt Carpenter (2B)
- Lance Lynn (RHP)
- Dexter Fowler (CF)
- Marco Scutaro (2B)
- Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
- Michael Cuddyer (1B)
- Tyler Colvin (RF)
- Jordan Pacheco (3B)
- Wilin Rosario (C)
- Jonathan Herrera (SS)
- Christian Friedrich (LHP)
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