Before Friday’s game, Matt Carpenter was out on the infield taking ground balls–at second base.
“Just making sure that we’re covering all our bases if there’s options,” explained Mike Matheny. “Carp has been taken ground balls all season, all over the place. Just a little more concentrated work at second base today might give him a little more opportunity.”
This past Tuesday, Kolten Wong received an injection to alleviate the discomfort in his strained triceps. John Mozeliak said the reports are positive since then, however, the second baseman is still likely expected back after the All-Star break.
That extended time on the disabled list for Wong, coupled with the need to get some other bats in the lineup has made second base more of an option for Carpenter.
“Potentially,” acknowledged Matheny. “When you watch a Jose Martinez and you watch a Luke Voit–how do we keep them engaged and use their flexibility? Jose has been one of those that has given us options in the outfield, but when you have a Grichuk going like he is, and a Piscotty, and a Pham.
“Then Dexter gets mixed back in. That’s going to be tough to figure out how that fits. And so first base is an option and that’s really the only position Luke Voit plays. When we’re faced with a tough lefty, I think that’s something we’re going to at least make sure we’ve got covered.”
Carpenter played 132 games at second base in 2013, his first season as an All-Star.
“We’re still at that point with our club, we’ve just got to kind of keep our eyes open,” reiterated Matheny. “Keep our options open. If something looks like it may work, not be afraid to think outside of the box a little.”