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.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).