Exit Interview: Matt Carpenter

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Player: Matt Carpenter

Season stats: 157 games, 717 PA, 126 R, 55 2B, 7 3B, 11 HR, 78 RBI, 72 BB, 98 K, .318/.392/.481

Hero/Goat: Hero 13, Goat 11

Overall grade: A+

Positives: If Carpenter had been able to play second base without an error a game and hit around .270 or so, this would have been a successful season for him.  He did a little more than that.  To break a Stan Musial record (most doubles by a lefty in Cardinal history) is an amazing symbol of what Carpenter brought to the team.  He led the league in runs as well since he took to the leadoff slot like Bill Ivie to a promotional opportunity.  I don’t think that you can say enough about Carpenter’s season and it’s a shame that he finished out of the top three in the MVP race.

Negatives: All that awesomeness took a toll on Carpenter. He reached 199 hits with a couple of days left in the season, but was unable to get that 200th knock.  Then, in the postseason, he hit just .217 and his OBP was 100 points lower than it was during the regular schedule.  Whether he just wore down or the pitching level of difficulty ramped up (it’s not like anyone else hit either), his slump in October made it difficult for the lineup to get going.

Outlook: We’ve likely seen Carpenter’s career year and he should come back to earth some next season.  That said, he’s going to be an offensive plus for this team for a number of years to come.  Whether that is at third base, second base, or both remains to be seen after the moves of this offseason.  No matter where he plays, though, he’s likely to hit and be an asset to the team.

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