Matt Carpenter 3B STL Dec 31 '78

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 3B STL Dec 28 '78

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 3B STL Dec 23 '78

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 3B STL Dec 19 '78

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 3B STL Dec 18 '78

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 3B STL Dec 17 '78

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 3B STL Nov 22 '78

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.

Matt Carpenter 3B STL Sep 30 '78

Matt Carpenter said the daily work he's been putting in this offseason at second base is going "great."

"Obviously you can't simulate a real game, but there's definitely confidence built when you are working with something every day," Carpenter said. "There's a comfort level being built." Carpenter is a corner infielder by trade, but the Cards want him to get comfortable at second base in an effort to get his bat into the lineup. It's possible he could push Daniel Descalso into a utility role if he looks comfortable enough at the position in spring training.

Matt Carpenter 3B STL Aug 05 '78

The Cardinals have instructed Matt Carpenter to work on his defense at second base this winter.

Carpenter profiles better as a third baseman or corner outfielder, but those spots are filled right now in St. Louis and the Cards want to get the 26-year-old's bat in the lineup on a regular basis. He had a promising .294/.365/.463 slash line in 340 plate appearances this season.

Matt Carpenter 3B STL Jul 29 '78

Taking the spot of the injured Carlos Beltran (knee), Matt Carpenter launched a two-run homer in Wednesday's win over the Giants.

Beltran went down in the first inning with a knee injury, but Carpenter came up huge, taking Matt Cain deep in his first at-bat to give the Cards what turned out to be the winning runs. Although Beltran reportedly could be ready to play in Game 4, the Cardinals have a nice fallback option in Carpenter.