What is wrong with Carpenter and what should be done?

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This topic contains 148 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by Avatar SoonerinNC 1 month ago.

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  • #49057
    Brian Walton
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    This topic deserves its own thread. Just saw this relevant tidbit.

    #49058
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    Ratsbuddy
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    Why panic here? Two years ago Joey Votto was hitting about .200 in late may and early June. They weren’t calling for Votto’s head at that point. He then hit almost .400 the rest of the way. Granted Carpenter wont hit .400 the rest of the way but as the guy on ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown would say…..”C’mon Man!”

    After all, we are only a little over two weeks into the season. I do agree if his struggles continue something needs to be done. Anybody give any thought to Carpenter hitting leadoff, Dexter 2nd, and Pham 3rd?

    Its funny because we used to have a player named Tyler Greene who averaged about .220 lifetime and some people thought he was valuable. Now Carpenter is struggling and everybody is after him.

    r/Rat

    #49066
    Brian Walton
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    Why does discussion on a topic concerning to many get labeled as “panic”?

    #49070
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    PadsFS
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    When Carpenter struggles, he still manages to get on-base at an elite rate. That’s rare and I agree with Rat, he’ll be fine in time.

    #49072
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    PadsFS
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    The panic probably refers to the topic being labeled “what is wrong”. Sounds like an over-reaction to me too.

    #49074
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    Brianpnoonan
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    It is most definitely not panic to see a bad year last year plus a bad start and start a conversation. Period.

    At this point you gotta let him play though. We need him. Give him his chances and supplement other players to give him breathing room

    Luckily he plays several positions

    #49075
    Brian Walton
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    When a career .275 batter is hitting .160 and striking out at a 28.8% rate compared to his career mark of 18.3%, it suggests something may be wrong. Then there is his on-going shoulder/back issues.

    #49079
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    Cardinal in France
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    Sure, I’d like to see Carpenter hitting 100 points or more higher. But frankly, I’m more worried about Wong and where he’s going right now. The thing with Carpenter is we can’t get the straight scoop on his condition. He certainly doesn’t look right out there. Is he really hurting and trying to hide it? Is he hoping he can play through it – at the risk of injuring himself further? Or is he just going through a bad patch? Would he benefit from a nice long stretch on the DL to get all these nagging ailments sorted out. That could be a solution once Gyorko gets back. But the question remains: What’s Carp’s REAL physical condition?

    #49081
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    grayssportsalmanacc
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    “Why panic here? Two years ago Joey Votto was hitting about .200 in late may and early June.”

    Joey Votto has been the most consistently excellent 1b over the last few years from an offensive standpoint, and is in my opinion a probable HOF…> matt carpenter

    #49084
    Brian Walton
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    With Gyorko now back, it will be interesting to see what the manager does with playing time. Will Jedd get regular starts, with Carpenter pushing Wong to the bench? Or will Carpenter sit more? Will Carpenter and Wong get right by playing less? It sure seems like Martinez is going to start every day, shutting off first base.

    #49085
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    858booyah
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    He started off slow last year. Wonder what got him going?

    #49086
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    Cardinals2016
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    He started off slow last year. Wonder what got him going?

    Both he and Fowler improved BA and OBP by about 40 points in the two weeks after flipping in the order (Carpenter’s usual struggles about hitting elsewhere in the order) last year. Fowler actually had a more dramatic improvement than Carpenter, as his improvement was closer to 50 pts.

    Carpenter currently has a .333 OBP and Fowler has a .265. Carpenter has nearly twice as many walks (14) as hits (8).

    If Carpenter is only going to walk, then maybe it is time to flip them in the order. Last year, they waited until May. How long will they wait this year?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Avatar Cardinals2016.
    #49088
    stlcard25
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    For whatever reason, Carpenter just hits better in the leadoff spot. I can’t see how it would hurt to move him there. But maybe there is something nagging in his back/shoulder that’s impacting his swing.

    I’ll also add that the shift kills Marp. I like the extra power but I miss the days when he sprayed doubles all over the place. The pull approach just hasn’t looked as pretty of late.

    #49091
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    Cardinals2016
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    For whatever reason, Carpenter just hits better in the leadoff spot.

    I think there are two parts to this:
    1. After attempting to put him elsewhere in the lineup that last 4-5 years, and he “magically” improves as soon as he is put back in leadoff, it becomes psychological
    2. He takes the first pitch 99% of the time in the leadoff spot. I think this helps him calibrate his timing at the plate.

    #49092
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    NJ315
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    Let him hit first. Don’t play him at third. Make the defense weaker on the right side with him at second and Martinez at first. He should play first only but that’s water under the bridge. See what happens. He looks miserable so maybe change will do him good. IMO he is in pain. He does not want to swing. If pitchers keep walking him is time to cash in on those.

    #49095
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    gscottar
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    Let the man hit leadoff!! We shouldn’t have to question why he performs better hitting first. Just accept it and roll with it!

    #49102
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    thejager
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    he is fine for his role at 3b…which is only extra time because Gyorko was out… the big question will be how much Wong will we see now with Gyorko back? it will be interesting to see who sits…because Martinez is the guy who shouldnt be sitting of the 4 right now no matter what

    As dumb as it is…put him back at leadoff, and shift Fowler to 3….when we did it last year it worked… and i dont care if it doesnt make sense and no one believes in it…it helped…
    if the guy wants a dead chicken before the game and he hits better because of it…you get that guy a dead chicken…it shouldnt matter and doesnt make any sense…but if it works …do it

    and right now it is worth a shot…as both he and Fowler are scuffling…if they do it and both still scuffle then try something new

    i was wondering about putting Molina in the 3 hole as he seems much more apt to jump on fastballs than Carp it seems…and with Ozuna looming at 4 he might just get some more…
    Carp,Pham,Molina,Ozuna,JMart,Fowler,Gyorko,DeJong

    or you just shift everyone up and put Fowler into an RBI/second half leadoff spot
    Pham,Molina,Ozuna,JMart,Fowler,Carp,DeJong,Gyorko

    i dunno…we have lots of options…but Fowler, Carp, DeJong, Wong…are not really doing much and shifting them in favor of the guys who are is fine with me

    #49122
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    Bw52
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    With shoulder and back issues i just dont see how he can play well enough to justify being in the lineup daily.He certainly hasnt so far.Would a stint on the DL be a solution or just postponing maling a real decision.

    #49137
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    Ratsbuddy
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    Before long people are going to start to give up on Wong too.

    #49146
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    gscottar
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    I laugh when people say that it is just a coincidence that Carpenter hits better at leadoff.

    Jethro Gibbs rule #39: “There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

    Let the man hit leadoff!

    #49155
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    gmaske71
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    As far as his hitting so far, it’s still a small sample size. But it is kind of nice to have a guy who can steal bases hitting lead-off. Matt Carpenter can’t. He has stolen 15 bases and been thrown out 15 times in his major league career. Don’t tell me the ability to steal bases has become irrelevant. It’s important in big games, and especially the playoffs. Carp not only can’t steal bases, he isn’t a good baserunner, either. Yet he has shown himself psychologically incapable of hitting ANYWHERE other than first. So what to do? Either hit him lead-off, or trade him. I prefer the latter. I’m tired of Matt Carpenter and despite his versatility he’s blocking other players who deserve more playing time. Matheny will never sit Carpenter, so it will be up to Moze or the other guy, you know, the “general manager.” Carpenter has had a very nice Cardinal career but I see him now as simply a guy who is blocking younger players.

    #49156
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    Cardinals2016
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    He doesn’t need to steal bases if he goes back to hitting doubles (which might improve his OBP as well)

    #49163
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    gscottar
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    Who is Carpenter blocking? It isn’t like we have a plethora of corner infielders waiting their turn in the minors. We have tons of pitchers and OF’s but not so much on infielders.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #49167
    bicyclemike
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    In the early seasons of Matt’s career he was a 5 WAR player, and one would think he would have kept up that production for a few more years. In 2016 and ’17 he has settled in to more of a 3 WAR guy.

    His primary value is getting on base. However, he negates some of that by being a bad base-runner. And of course he would be much more valuable if he was not a negative defender.

    As others have said, it’s too early to throw him out. While I think the “can only hit leadoff” thing is bunk as far as any real ability, it makes sense to hit him there. When you have a guy whose biggest offensive weapon is the walk, which is really a passive “skill”, then it makes sense to hit that guy leadoff. You need a more aggressive hitter in the production slots, one who drives in runs and the walks are more due to being pitched around than really working for them. Ironically another place that would work for him is 8th. There would be many situations where he would draw a walk, and give an opportunity to use the pitcher to move him over.

    I still like Wong as the every day second baseman. Wong was about as valuable as Carpenter last year in terms of WAR, when you take in to account Carpenter played half-again as much as him. Plus Kolten gives you speed on the bases.

    But Carpenter has earned a lot of good will, and deserves the chance get it going. If he really is hurting, no matter where he bats he will struggle. It might be that if he continues to struggle for the next month, he will need some down time on the DL. Fortunately we have some “deep depth” if that happens.

    #49169
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    mspaid
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    Carpenter tried hitting third last year and it didn’t work. Why did they think it would work this year? I don’t understand their reasoning.

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