Matt Carpenter, programmed to play several positions this spring, will be spending most of his time defensively at first base when the Cardinals start their full-scale workouts on Monday. Manager Mike Matheny said Carpenter had been experiencing some back tightness _ he was slowed by a similar ailment last spring. “Carp’s going to focus most of his (defense) at first base at this point but he’s going to get work at third and he’s going to get work at second,” Matheny said Sunday. “We’re probably not going to move him around a whole lot at the beginning,” said Matheny. “We just want to be careful. It’s something that’s happened before and we just want to stay ahead of it.” Carpenter had an oblique issue which sidelined him in 2016 and Matheny, referencing the current back tightness, said he didn’t think it to be a problem but “any time you start to have one thing start to bother you, it’s always a danger of that being a domino effect, of it compensating, and then something else is liable to pop up. “He’s out here doing his own voluntary work. We’re just keeping an eye on him. Once again, there’s not a huge rush. We know how much he works. Sometimes these can be a blessing in disguise, too, especially for a game like him. We’re at times having to take his bat away from him.” Matheny said Carpenter had come to camp well ahead of most players and taken many ground balls. “He’s ahead,” Matheny said. “Right now, it’s not that much of a concern.” Last year the back issue cost Carpenter a chance to play for the winning United States team at the World Baseball Classic.
Carpenter, whose back is stiff, will work mostly at first base
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 18