(Busch Stadium) For the second consecutive game, St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt has made a notable adjustment with his starting lineup. Yesterday it was Kolten Wong moving up to second in the order, today it’s the decision to start Tommy Edman over Matt Carpenter at third base with a right-hander on the mound.
Since his return to the active roster on August 4th, Carpenter has slashed a line of .196/.321/.304 with one home run, two doubles, and 17 strikeouts in 16 games. Edman has reached base safely in 11 of last 12 games while hitting .373 and is tied with Kolten Wong (18) for the most hits on the team in August.
“The future really is kind of today, without being overly knee-jerk,” Shildt said. “There’s some recency that we are evaluating, but to date Carp and Tommy Edman have been effectively the same player. To date. 2019. Now, since Carp has come back–not as much. That’s what we’re dealing with.”
Described as a search for the sweet spot of what the team sees now and what the team projects a player could or should do, the decision for today has Carpenter available off the bench. But the decision has not been made on a longer term change at third base.
“You are talking about a human being that has done a lot of things very well for a long time in this organization–and our community,” Shildt said. “The human aspect of it is this is a guy that’s had a lot of success for the organization. We do understand this is a business of what have you done for me lately. We all understand it. We also recognize that there is an asset that is real, that hasn’t performed from the business standpoint that he, we, our baseball community would like, so what’s the patience level with that?
“It has nothing to do with his contract or anything along those lines, it has a lot to do with just how confident we are about him moving forward and getting it going. The reality is, this is a guy that last year…I don’t want to say carried us, because a lot of people had a lot of things that went well in allowing us to make a run in the second half when we were effectively left for dead, and he was the guy leading that charge. So you need to have a little longer memory some times and some cases.
“But yet still appreciate where we’re at in how we’re competing and where Matt is physically and emotionally. We’re going to stay fluid with it because the fact of the matter is, the guy did finish ninth last year in the MVP race. Not to have some level of patience–which I get, we’re in a very, very, absolute not even a 24-news cycle anymore. It feels like it’s in a five-hour news cycle and what have you done for me lately. I do get it. We do have to win games, have results, we also have to be aware this is a talented guy that has contributed quite a bit. And has earned–it’s not about earning anything contractually, it’s about earning what he’s done up to this point.
“He scored his 700th career run as a Cardinal. You look up and recently he keeps setting doubles records, runs scored records for career. That’s one thing this organization has always valued and appreciated and rewarded is guys who’ve performed.”
The 700th run milestone came earlier this week for Carpenter and is two walks away from tying Ken Boyer (631) for the ninth most walks in franchise history.
RF Dexter Fowler
2B Kolten Wong
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
SS Paul DeJong
C Yadier Molina
3B Tommy Edman
CF Harrison Bader
P Miles Mikolas
–The Cardinals have recalled pitcher Dominic Leone from Memphis (AAA). To make room on the roster, the team optioned reliever Junior Fernandez to Memphis.
This will be the fourth stint of the season for Leone with St. Louis. He allowed one run in 12.1 innings with 23 strikeouts and two walks in his 10 games at Memphis following his last option.
photo credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports