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Can Matt Carpenter return to second base? - A Hunt and Peck

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He appears to be the odd man out of the infield.

National League Wild Card Game 2: St. Louis Cardinals v. San Diego Padres Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

“Not everybody can play second base.” Words immortalized by Dan Moore in The Paquette Sequences that have been consistently challenged by the Cardinals organization until at long last A Real Second Baseman entrenched himself at the keystone. For eight seasons Kolten Wong put an end to the revolving door that was second baseman for the Cardinals. He is gone, though. The door begins to swing.

The logical and likely replacement would probably be utility player Tommy Edman, who filled in admirable around the diamond previous two seasons. He would make an adequate replacement on both offense and defense.

The acquisition of third baseman Nolan Arenado has set the infield with Paul Goldschmidt at first, Edman at second, Arenado at third, and Paul DeJong playing shortstop. The odd man out being Matt Carpenter, who has tried his hand at three of these four positions with varying degrees of success. Carpenter is, of course, trying to reverse a downward trend that has plagued him since 2019, just a year after one his career-best seasons. With the significant pedigrees of Goldschimdt and Arenado at the corners, his best bet might be a comeback at second base, unless the universal designated hitter returns for 2021.

It seems unlikely the every day second baseman is the role best suited for Carpenter right now. Being left-handed and able to play three of the four infield positions is a valuable trait and his ability to work a count was always an interesting threat off the bench. Eight seasons ago Matt Carpenter was one of the most valuable second baseman in the league. Maybe there is some of that magic left. The most likely situation seems to be the return of Carpenter as the utility man, a role he was able to excel in once before. If he can shake off this funk, he could provide some darn good value for the Cardinals in that role again.

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