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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Carpenter told to 'focus' on second base

Carpenter told to 'focus' on second base

3 hours ago  • 
ST. LOUIS • As he looks back at the 2012 season with the intent of planning ahead for the 2013 season, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he is working through the notes he wants to pass along to his players and coaches this winter.
He already has passed along one note to Matt Carpenter.
Actually, it was more of a homework assignment.
"I told him to make it a focus," Matheny said of instructing Carpenter to work this winter at second base, a new position for the lefthanded-hitting utility fielder.
"And go see what he can do with it and be ready to (come to spring training) as a ballplayer. I want him to have some repetition out there."
Carpenter appeared sparingly at second base this past season, but the Cardinals often toyed with the idea of getting him playing time there so they could get his bat in the lineup more consistently.
Carpenter proved adept enough at the corner positions -- first, third, left and right -- to spell the regulars there.
Matheny said his hope is to actually get Carpenter and Jose Oquendo together a few times this winter to work directly on the position and give Carpenter a head start going into spring training. Daniel Descalso is the de facto incumbent at second base.
General manager John Mozeliak said earlier this morning that it would be hard to see how Skip Schumaker would get playing time there. Kolten Wong, a first-round pick in 2011, will get a look at spring training to see if he's ready to vault from Class AA to the majors as the second baseman.
Carpenter would offer a bigger bat for the position while also adding to the many ways they could use him during games.

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