Jose Oquendo said on Monday that Matt Carpenter is ahead of schedule when it comes to competing for the second base job. From Rick Hummel’s article:
“It isn’t that big of a surprise,” Oquendo said. “Schumaker did great on routine plays. But Schumaker had a tough time reading balls off the bat because of being in the outfield. (Carpenter) has been an infielder (third base, first base) almost all his time. He can read balls a lot better.”
I talked a lot last season about how I thought between Schumaker’s inability to field balls cleanly and Rafael Furcal’s understandable decrease in range, the Cardinals had a lot of trouble defensively up the middle. Daniel Descalso is clearly the best defensive option the Cardinals have, it’s only a matter of whether Mike Matheny thinks he will be able to hit or not that will keep from him being at second base on Opening Day. Having said that, I am happy to hear that Matt Carpenter could very well be a viable backup option.