July 29, 2019 at 10:06 am #99722
Matt Carpenter is and has been for some time the most pressing issue with the Cardinals poor performance. He is a “-” fielder and has been for several years, which was the flagship of the 2018 Cardinals the worst defensive team in baseball. For all but 2 months he hit below 200 in 2018 which he has continued into 2019. He runs poorly. And he is terrible with runners in scoring position often watching strikes go by looking for walks (thus his on base % the front office brags about) instead of putting the ball in play to bring in runners. Prediction; Cardinals will not be a Post Season contender till he is no longer a fixture.July 29, 2019 at 10:29 am #99726
Interesting first post. Unfortunately, it is littered with errors. Just to put all the facts out there. He’s had one bad fielding year and the rest basically adds up to average, some slightly above and some slightly below.
DRS by year, 2013-18: 0, -2, -10, -5, 2, 4, 2
Second, his average and wRC+ by month last year:
So if you meant “he hit below .200 for two months” rather than the exact opposite like you said, I guess you’d be right.
Third, his base running scores by year per Fangraphs, 2013-18: 4.5, -0.2, 1.3, -3.1, 0.4, 1.3. Again, average.
Fourth, wRC+ with RISP, 2013-18: 176, 120, 158, 128, 143, 124. Pretty much in line with, if not higher than, his usual stats.
Matt Carpenter is what he is: a solid baseball player who isn’t and shouldn’t be the best player on a high level ballclub. But what he isn’t is some kind of bum who’s been dragging the team down for years. Maybe he’s at the end of his run and the FO should be held accountable for the overly quick contract extension if he turns out to be toast, but let’s not act like he’s been a bad player on a regular basis up until this year.July 29, 2019 at 11:24 am #99729
The things most disturbing about Carpenter are his poor performance year to date, and his rehab is not going any better. (hitless in 16 ab’s versus minor league pitching with 6 K’s) He is a below average defender, and base runner. His biggest asset has always been his ability to get on base, but even that is below par this year. HIs swing appears to need a reboot.July 29, 2019 at 11:25 am #99730Cardinal in FranceParticipantFree
Carp is indeed going through a rough patch and I, for one, don’t want to see him back at third until he has sorted himself out. And I believe he will, even though the rehab doesn’t look too hot just now. But I agree with Card25, let’s be fair in our characterizations.July 29, 2019 at 11:28 am #99731SoonerinNCParticipantPaid - Annual
I said at the end of last season that the Cardinals should trade him to someone who thinks he will his 36 home runs again. Since we extended him it appears that we are the only team that thinks that may happen.
Carpenter has been an overachiever. He used to thrive on getting on base and a relatively high average. Then he became a home run hitter well beyond my expectations. He seems to have worked hard to improve his defense and was becoming a pretty good first baseman and it appears to me that he has been better at third base this season.
He seems to be a bit inflexible. He has not adjusted to hitting anywhere but first in the lineup. He seems to be both trying to walk and also hit with power. Consequently he is consistently behind in the count 0-2 and often either fans by swinging at a bad pitch or taking a called strike. It appears that pitchers know he is going to take pitches early in the count trying to take a walk. He also whines a lot about the umpires calls, often he is wrong. I believe it was once reported that he has more out of the zone strikes called against him than any other player. Umpires do remember.
Now the Cardinals have a dilemma. He does not look good swinging the bat even in AA. Edman and Munoz have made valuable contributions to the Cardinal post all-star run. If they bring him up now and he bombs and the Cardinals fade, management is going to have a hard time explaining. It appears they are extending his rehab, hoping that he will catch fire.July 29, 2019 at 11:35 am #99733
I think they have to extend his rehab up to the full month at this point. We don’t need another struggling bat in our lineup. I was with Sooner on trading him after his 36 homer season last year.July 29, 2019 at 11:43 am #99735
Good points, Sooner. Carpenter was going to be a solid trade chip if they needed to sell off this year.
In a lot of ways, Carpenter has been like Joey Votto in that his value is something that doesn’t excited fans and isn’t showing up as much in the advanced stats even. His ability to take a lot of pitches and draw walks has always been a bonus for the rest of the lineup. He has been squeezed a lot by umps and I can’t help but think that some, or a lot of that is due to his reactions to them. On addition, the shift has taken its toll as he’s gotten more pull happy the last few years.
He clearly needs to keep rehabbing until something clicks. But I still go back to the question of “Can the Cards win the World Series with a healthy and clicking Edman/Munoz combo at 3rd?” To me, the answer is no unless they are playing completely out of their mind. Now substitute Matt Carpenter. I believe that answer is yes, and that’s why I think they have to get him right in 2019. If by mid season 2020 he’s still flailing then I’d be in the camp that says we need to find a way to move on. But I can’t go there right now, especially since most of the accusations against him that I so commonly see just aren’t true.July 29, 2019 at 11:48 am #99737gscottarParticipantFree
stl25, I don’t envy your job as the biggest Carp defender on this board. That is one tough assignment.
We all appreciate what Carp has done over the years but there just seems to be no indication he is going to snap out of it and be the kind of player the Cardinals need him to be. His extension for the next 2-3 years (there is a vesting option for 2022) was incredibly shortsighted and could potentially hamstring this team mightily both on the field and on the payroll. I am sure the extension seemed like the right idea at the time (hold down 3B until Gorman is ready) but so far that decision looks like a disaster.July 29, 2019 at 11:56 am #99739Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
Minor correction. Maximum rehab is 20 days for position players (and 30 days for pitchers). Not arguing that he doesn’t seem to need it all.July 29, 2019 at 12:22 pm #99742RememberDizParticipantFree
I don’t remember seeing a decent (not great) player going from being pretty good to a total disaster at the plate with no apparent hope of rebuilding. This is unique, and I don’t know what to make of it. I would think that someone with his experience would be able to work his way out of it.
His minor league performance is of concern. He should be able to hit AA pitching, and he can’t. I wonder if there isn’t something wrong that has not yet surfaced. I have seen people decline, but not like this.
I don’t see anything in Munoz that makes me think he is a starter at any position. He can “Play” a lot of positions. I think it is more that he can play at them rather than play them. He seems to make little stumbles with his hands that make him inconsistent as an infielder. That triple off the wall for runs 7 and 8 was no triple. That was a simple misplay that a major league outfielder has to be able to make.
Edman seems a bit better on defense. His offense has been OK. But, he does strike out a lot against the better pitchers that he has seen. It’s like he can hit the pitchers who are about half major leaguer and half AAA. As of now, I think he is an adequate replacement for a good player. I don’t know that Munoz is worth more than five or ten starts per year. I see more promise in Martinez, defensively.
I don’t think we have a major league third baseman right now. Some may be on the way. I would say that it would be more likely to see Gorman there in 2021 than anyone we have up there now.July 29, 2019 at 12:25 pm #99743
I would be the first to admit Carpenter had a great middle of the season last year. You might even say a Career year. Let’s face it he is a life time 270 hitter and the fans in St. Louis who believe all the front office hype have him on a pedestal. He is at best an average MLB player who we have given a Franchise label to. We kept him after a brilliant first full year in favor of keeping David Freese who’s career overall has out performed Mr. Carpenter. David is a 276 lifetime hitter who’s fielding has improved dramatically over his career. Teams have always benefited from his ability to hit in the clutch something Carpenter who consistently leaves runners in scoring position has not. Make it clear, I am not down on him because of 2019 lackluster performance. He is simply a liability in the field. He lacks range, makes lots of errors, and has no arm. Anyone who thinks he is going to duplicate 38 home runs in what’s left of his career is an eternal optimist. And Edmans and Munoz are far superior fielders. I am not saying they are the answer. It is yet to be seen if they can consistently produce offensively. But if I am pitching I want them on the corner instead of Carp.July 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm #99747
Carpenter with 28.8 career WAR, Freese with 19.0 in two extra seasons. Freese has never had a year with more WAR than Carpenter’s average output in 7 full seasons.
Any more false statements to make?July 29, 2019 at 1:29 pm #99751Minuteman3ParticipantFree
The Springfield Cards game was on local TV yesterday so I didn’t have to pay $20 to park (and won’t ever).
Dylan Carlson is the real deal. Matt Carpenter is not. He led off the game with a strikeout. Two other batters in the first inning hit home runs off a Corpus pitcher who did not look too hot. Matt also had a line drive into the RF shift and a grounder to the 2B. Also hit a fly ball to LF for an out. If I have it counted up right he is 0-16 in his rehab at AAA and AA. The announcers were not really sure what he was rehabbing as they mentioned his shin and foot but alluded that it was his head that may be out of wack.
I have no idea what is wrong with Carpenter but there has been no improvement yet the local guys said he would be going back to St Louis today to be ready for tomorrows game with the Cubs. Friday it was being said by Mo that Carp may remain in Springfield until Tuesday when they wrap up their home stand. I am not a defender of Matt and never have been but I do think he has caused some problems in his time with the Cards. He was anointed as a team star and given 1B as his prize. He could do no wrong but despite his supposed great eye he found it necessary to whine to umps incessantly about strike calls. He got hot for a couple of months then cooled when needed most. His defense has improved but his arm has never improved with those balloon throws to 1B.
He will probably not be traded or even benched very much because of the money owed. He is this years Dexter Fowler – big ticket/no laundry. I have no idea as to his future but I would not be disappointed to see him with another team.July 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm #997941964cardsParticipantPaid - Annual
Carpenter was a valuable part of the Cardinal offense for several seasons. He hit for a decent average, had a high OBP and drove in runs. His batting average started to dip in 2017. This season he has struggled to hit for average and get on base.
I too am concerned with what I have seen this season. The drop in batting average, the drop in OBP, A reluctance or inability to hit away from the shift and it appears he is striking out at a higher rate than in the past.
It is critical that he is ready to go and be capable of producing before he returns to the every day line up. The team is in the hunt for a playoff spot. IMO, the club cannot afford to insert a lead off hitter who cannot get on base just because of his contract. I would insert him when the club is confident he can produce.July 29, 2019 at 5:43 pm #99795
0-for-16 with 6 strikeouts between Memphis and Springfield. When he does come back to St. Louis and automatically gets his starting job back everyone should expect the Cardinals’ momentum to tank.July 29, 2019 at 6:02 pm #998021982 willieParticipant
yea I think the cards have played a lot better with him out of the lineup. id rather he not start but I figure he will.July 29, 2019 at 6:48 pm #99810WoosterParticipantFree
As much as I like an overachiever like Carp I too believe he needs to get it straightened out before he comes back. We have a good chance to make a run at post season play this year. Very glad Dexter made it back but we didn’t contend last year. The shift has absolutely shut Carp down this year. He does not eye the ball all the way in anymore. Looked to me like he was playing for the walk out of desperation? I remember not long ago Carp and Gyrko were keeping us going. Things change and the team has to move on. Beat the Cubs! Go Cardinals!July 29, 2019 at 7:36 pm #99811mudvilleParticipantPaid - Annual
I’m wondering if Carpenter has come down with a case of Fowler-i-tis, meaning that his head has gotten screwed up. I hope not. It took Fowler a whole year to recover from it. I like Dex, and I like Carp, especially when he’s blistering the ball. Imagine what it would be like if Carpenter was playing 3B every day and hitting like Goldschmidt is now. Then add a hungry Ozuna to the mix. Yikes!July 29, 2019 at 7:44 pm #99813
WAR is the most misleading statistic in baseball. All it means is when someone wasn’t playing how well the team fared. Freese has played on some better teams for one thing. Freese consistently gets picked up by winning franchises. If we shopped Carpenter around how many teams do you really think would jump at him?????? I seriously doubt many. Lets be clear, I am not down on him for his bat. He is a solid average MLB hitter with a better than average OBP. But he is an incredible liability in the field. Many misplays in the field do not go down as errors which is infuriating to me. If they did, his percentages there would be worse than what they are. Our outfielders over the last two years also have benefited from generous score keeping. How many balls go to the wrong base for example? Our worst year defensively had a lot to do with Wong on the bench and Carpenter in the field. Wong has been our best fielder for the last few years other than Yadi of course. The reason we are better this year is Wong plays most of the time, Bader is solid in center and the addition of Goldschmidt.July 29, 2019 at 8:45 pm #99824
Carp is 0-for-3 tonight with a walk and another strikeout. Can’t wait to get his bat back in the everyday lineup.July 29, 2019 at 10:02 pm #99839Euro DandyParticipantFree
Carp is 0-for-3 tonight
And Carp ended his night 0-3, because he was benched for a pinch hitter his next time up in the bottom of the 8th inning. The game was tied with two outs, no runners on base and the next Springfield batter hit a triple. Carp was due up next, but a pinch hitter was inserted in this high leverage situation. Perhaps the plan was to pinch hit for Carp all along in any situation. Perhaps not, and if not, what a low point for Carp. That couldn’t be, could it?July 29, 2019 at 10:04 pm #99840Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
Did you know that Major League players do not have to go on rehab assignments? How about at least giving Carpenter credit for going down to the minors to try to get his bat going? It isn’t going well yet, but he also isn’t back up yet. Seems like some are not sympathetic to his struggles. If so, that is too bad.July 29, 2019 at 10:22 pm #99844
I’ll give him credit, but he has to hit minor league pitching before returning. Otherwise he is not ready.July 29, 2019 at 10:24 pm #99847
Actually Carp went 0-4 tonight, bringing his rehab ‘effort’ to a 0-for-20 with 7 strikeouts. Now lets all send Carp an appreciation card for going on rehab.July 30, 2019 at 7:31 am #99853OnyxgemParticipantFree
Just goes to show the FO decision to resign him before the season was BEYOND stupid…something they are really good at being lately!
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