March 2: Q of the Day
I saw that Matt Carpenter led off while playing second base the other day. How’d he look? I wouldn’t think he’d be given frequent consideration as a lead-off guy, would he?
— Bryan J., Indianapolis
You will see all sorts of different lineups used in spring, largely because there are so many players being plugged in and out each day. Don’t read anything into manager Mike Matheny’s use of Carpenter as a leadoff hitter earlier this week. He needed someone to hit from that top spot, and the other obvious candidates weren’t playing that day.
Today’s lineup — with Jon Jay batting leadoff — is much more indicative of the order the Cardinals will go with during the regular season. Jay fit well in that role last year, and with questions surrounding the status of Rafael Furcal, Jay seems the most logical answer. If Carpenter earns regular playing time at second base, I could see him fitting in one of two batting order spots. He’d be an intriguing option for the No. 2 hole. Or if the Cardinals prefer to leave that place for Carlos Beltran, I’d imagine that Carpenter would fall to the seventh spot in the lineup, behind David Freese.
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