Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter wasn’t in Thursday’s lineup against the Cubs, which didn’t raise many eyebrows as it was considered a routine day of rest. But he wasn’t included in Friday’s lineup against the Pirates, either, which was rather curious.
According to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch, Carpenter is dealing with “extreme fatigue” and didn’t travel with the team to Pittsburgh for their three-game weekend series, instead staying in St. Louis to rest. Pete Kozma is playing at third base in Carpenter’s place, batting eighth in Friday night’s lineup. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carpenter felt an accelerated heart rate and dehydration, resulting in his removal from a May 3 game against the Pirates in the eighth inning.
Losing Carpenter for any amount of time is a huge blow to the Cardinals, who own baseball’s best record at 21-7. Carpenter is batting .333/.403/.620 with 14 doubles, five home runs, 20 RBI, and 23 runs scored spending most of his time either leading off or batting second. Few players can claim they’ve been as valuable this season as Carpenter.
You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.
That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.
It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.