Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Apr 28 '13

Matt Carpenter is back in the lineup Sunday after being removed from Saturday's game due to tightness in his left side.

Carpenter spent time on the DL last season with an oblique strain, so the Cardinals wanted to play it safe. It sounds like he'll be fine, though. "It tightened up on me a little bit," Carpenter said. "There in the ninth inning it was more of a precautionary move to make sure, to get me out of there in case I took a swing and it got worse. That's basically it."

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Apr 10 '13

Matt Carpenter went 4-for-5 with a homer, a double and two RBI against the Reds on Wednesday.

While the homer was Carpenter's first, he already has five doubles. That he won't contribute overly much in homers or steals will limit his fantasy upside, but he should be an effective regular for the Cardinals.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Apr 07 '13

Matt Carpenter is getting his first career start at second base Sunday.

Carpenter played second base almost exclusively during spring training, but he moved to the hot corner following David Freese's injury. With Freese due back Monday, most of Carpenter's playing time going forward should come at second. Ty Wigginton is at third base Sunday in what will be his first start of the season.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Mar 22 '13

Matt Carpenter is batting leadoff for the Cardinals Friday, and manager Mike Matheny said he might hit Carpenter there some during the season.

Jon Jay, who will be the team's normal leadoff hitter, is batting second Friday. Carpenter doesn't have the speed normally associated with a leadoff man, but he has a great batting eye, having posted a .365 OBP his rookie year and a .408 mark during the minors. Slated to see most of the playing time at second base this season, Carpenter's fantasy appeal would move up a notch if he spends ample time hitting first or second.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Mar 19 '13

Matt Carpenter appears to have earned the Cardinals' starting second base job.

The Cardinals released Ronny Cedeno on Tuesday and will have to use Daniel Descalso as their utility infielder this season. That opens second base for Carpenter, who entered play Tuesday batting .415/.510/.610 this year in the Grapefruit League. He's a legitimate fantasy sleeper.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Mar 14 '13

Matt Carpenter tripled and doubled off Mike Minor as the Cardinals edged the Braves 5-4 on Thursday.

Carpenter is hitting .382 with five doubles and five walks in 32 at-bats this spring. His fantasy stock is climbing, as he's proved adequate enough at second base to likely earn a spot in the starting lineup.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Mar 10 '13

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso's competition at second base is expected "to continue into the season with performance and need dictating the starter."

Carpenter has proved to be a quick study at second base and should ultimately see the most starts at the position this season, but Descalso will still see his fair share of playing time and is a likely late-inning defensive replacement. For fantasy purposes, Carpenter is clearly the superior option. He batted .294/.365/.463 with six homers over 296 at-bats during his rookie season and is hitting .417/.517/.583 so far this spring.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Mar 09 '13

Matt Carpenter has impressed Cardinals manager Mike Matheny with his defense at second base this spring.

"He looks good," Matheny said. It's a nice vote of confidence for the 27-year-old. If the manager feels comfortable using Carpenter at the keystone once the regular season starts, he immediately becomes the team's best offensive option at the position. Keep an eye on how the position battle plays out in the coming weeks.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Mar 08 '13

Matt Carpenter went 4-for-4 with a couple of doubles Friday against the Nationals.

It'd be great for the Cardinals if Carpenter proved capable at second base. The team's best offensive option there, he's 10-for-24 with four doubles and five walks this spring.

Matt Carpenter 2B/3B STL Feb 11 '13

Cardinals third base coach and infield instructor Jose Oquendo said Matt Carpenter is "ahead of schedule" in his tryout at second base.

Oquendo is referring to Carpenter being "ahead of schedule" as it relates to Skip Schumaker, who also made a move to second base without every having previously played the position. Of course, it's not surprising that Carpenter has caught on quicker since he, unlike Schumaker, has been an infielder. The Cards are hoping that Carpenter can become adequate enough at second to see ample time at the position in 2013. Even if Carpenter wins the starting job, Daniel Descalso would still likely see plenty of starts and also sub in as a defensive replacement late in games.