|Bats / Throws||Left / Right|
|Date of Birth||11/26/1985|
|Height, Weight||6'3", 205 lbs|
|Drafted||2009 - Rd 13|
Carpenter is starting at third base Sunday for the third straight day.
Starts have been few and far between for Carpenter in September, but he has gotten a chance to see regular at-bats this weekend with Kolten Wong (hamstring) sidelined. Carpenter will play third base Sunday and hit sixth in the Cardinals' batting order.
Carpenter came into Thursday's extra-inning win over the Cubs as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the fifth inning and went 1-for-2 with a go-ahead solo home run in the 10th inning.
Carpenter launched a one-out, 431-foot solo shot to center off Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel in the top of the 10th inning, snapping a 6-6 tie with a blast that would end up being the difference in the game. Manager Mike Shildt confirmed earlier in the week that Carpenter was keeping a positive mindset despite riding the pine frequently in recent games, and Thursday's homer, his first since Aug. 25, seems to bear out that the 33-year-old is keeping himself mentally ready.
Carpenter has been a healthy scratch over the Cardinals' last four games, his longest such stretch of non-injury-related inactivity this season, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "He continues to be a really good teammate," said manager Mike Shildt, who had a conversation Monday with Carpenter. "He feels really good about where he's at with his swing and where he's at with his game. I applaud the fact (that) I know he wants to be in there every day."
Carpenter is sporting career worsts (when factoring out his initial seven-game big-league cup of coffee in 2011) across his .225/.333/.378 line this season, so his declining playing time in the midst of a postseason push isn't necessarily surprising. Shildt's comments indicate the Cardinals' skipper is well attuned to the adverse effects a multi-game benching could have on the mindset of a prideful veteran, but it appears the 33-year-old is keeping a positive mindset overall during his demotion.
Carpenter is not starting Friday against the Brewers.
The veteran third baseman will head to the bench for the third time in four contests as Tommy Edman receives another start at the hot corner. Carpenter has been better with a .995 OPS in his last 16 games, but he seems unlikely to retake the starting role with Edman also playing well in that stretch.
Carpenter went 2-for-3 with a double and a run in a win over the Pirates on Sunday.
Carpenter will never look back on his difficult 2019 season fondly, but he's at least showing some signs of potentially finishing an otherwise disappointing campaign on a positive note. The veteran has reached safely in five straight games, and he's gone 6-for-15 with two doubles, two RBI, three walks and two runs overall in the seven September contests during which he's logged at least one plate appearance. While his season line still sits at an underwhelming .226/.336/.380, all of his numbers have consistently inched upward since Aug. 25, the start of a 13-game period during which Carpenter has hit .387 across 37 trips to the plate.