Earlier this week I wondered if the Cardinals might use Allen Craig at second base once Lance Berkman returns from knee surgery, but Berkman isn’t even back yet and manager Mike Matheny is doing something even more surprising.
Matt Carpenter is starting at second base tonight despite the fact that he’s never played the position as a professional. In fact, Carpenter told FOX Sports Midwest that he can’t remember playing second base since he was 13 years old.
Carpenter’s bat is also definitely worth getting into the lineup and while most of his big-league action has come as a first baseman or corner outfielder he does have tons of minor-league experience at third base. Still, it’ll be very interesting to say the least.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!