Shildt gives Carpenter a day off to recharge

September 15th, 2018

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter took a break from the Cardinals' starting lineup on Saturday in a pivotal game against the Dodgers. played first base, and claimed the leadoff spot in Carpenter's absence.

"It just made some sense. We've had a couple of turnaround games where it was a 12 o'clock after 7 o'clock," manager Mike Shildt said. "When the rotation was set for this series and looking at it five days ago, today was pretty much a day we felt could be a good one for Carp."

September hasn't mirrored Carpenter's hot streak when the Cardinals rose from a .500 team to a contender. He's slashing .208/.350/.250 and hasn't homered in 13 games this month.

While Shildt said Saturday presents a quality opportunity to get other guys involved and active in the lineup, this is an important time to give Carpenter rest with a battle for a Wild Card Spot consuming the final weeks of the regular season.

"If there is frustration, how do you turn that into production? I think that's probably one of the biggest things we deal with in this game because there is a lot of frustration," Shildt said. "Personally, I think we have a lot of guys that do that well. Matt does it well."

Rotation update

Shildt said the Cardinals have a good idea of how the rotation will look the rest of the season, but will refrain from announcing too far in advance. However he did announce the rotation for the road series in Atlanta starting Monday, which will feature , and .

"We feel good about the guys we've got out there and the way they've competed and what they've done to get us to this point, and we're going to continue to support them in a positive fashion," Shildt said.

The upcoming off-day on Thursday provides some leverage for Shildt with the rotation, who could continue to plug in to play the matchups as necessary as the season closes.