Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Carpenter Assesses Need to Add a Hitter

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Carpenter Assesses Need to Add a Hitter

Article excerpt

NEW YORK * Matt Carpenter still was hitting only .244 before Tuesday's Cardinals game with the New York Mets, but after doubling in his first at-bat, he had reached base at least once in 21 straight games, tying Yadier Molina's club high for the season. After a four-for-five night, his batting average is .253, but more important, his on-base percentage is .386, just out of the top 10 in the National League.

Possessor of a lofty .376 on-base mark before this year, Carpenter had almost as many walks (65) as hits (74) before Tuesday.

"Your goal as a baseball player is to get on base," he said. "If I was hitting .310 but my on-base was .320 ... that's not very good. We've gotten to the point in baseball where batting average, in some circumstances, is a pretty fickle stat."

Manager Mike Matheny said, "With average, I know he'd rather be the guy that's up there where he should be. He should be a .300 hitter. But I think he's had to sacrifice a little bit of that to have the potential to do the damage (14 homers) that he's done."

So, the top of the Cardinals' lineup probably is as they want it. But is there something missing in the middle?

"Tough to say," said Carpenter, who was hitting third at the start of the season but didn't really shine there.

"Every team could benefit from adding a bat at any point in the season but, at the same time, you'd hate to say that what we have isn't suitable. I don't think anybody would want to admit that. But every team would benefit from adding a significant piece."

The Cardinals have two starting outfielders on the disabled list in Randal Grickuk and Stephen Piscotty. When they return, they could be prominent pieces, but Carpenter said, "It will look a little crowded."

That was in reference to Tommy Pham taking over a regular outfield job, Dexter Fowler having one and Magneuris Sierra hitting .400 in his first 10 big-league games. "We've got more players than positions," said Carpenter. "I don't know how that plays out. They've got some decisions to make, for sure."

Carpenter said he was satisfied with the starting pitching. "We could add a bullpen piece," he said, with an amendment that rehabbing Zach Duke and lefthander Kevin Siegrist, just off the disabled list, might be those pieces. …

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