JUPITER, Fla. Matt Carpenter wasn't sure how to react when he moved from second base back over to first base for the final few innings of Sunday's spring training game.
Carpenter has concentrated so hard on learning to play second base this spring that playing his more normal spot of first base almost seemed too easy.
"It's funny," Carpenter said. "Going to my other positions now after playing second base is almost like a day off."
The Cardinals sent Carpenter home last winter with a homework assignment. They wanted the corner infielder and outfielder to learn to play second base, hoping to find a way to get his bat into the lineup on a more regular basis.
Carpenter took ground balls daily with his dad in the Houston area and arrived at spring training two weeks early for instruction from infield coach Jose Oquendo. And those watching have been impressed with his progress so far.
"He's looked good," said manager Mike Matheny. "He's made the plays. There's so many little thing...