More bad news for the Cardinals, as Chris Carpenter left this afternoon’s start with a strained hamstring.
Given how depressing spring training has been for the Cardinals so far perhaps the injury being to Carpenter’s leg rather than his arm almost qualifies as good news.
Of course, in the same game reliever Mitchell Boggs departed with a strained lower back, so the hits just keep on coming for a Cardinals pitching staff already reeling from losing Adam Wainwright for the season to Tommy John elbow surgery.
Carpenter told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that “there was no way he could have gone on,” so at the very least he’s unlikely to make another start for a couple weeks.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.