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Carpenter gets first start at second base

Veteran's versatility on defense helps club get Voit into lineup
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter went back to an old glove on Monday, as he was asked to shift to second base for the first time this season.

The move isn't permanent, but the Cardinals have said they will consider tapping into Carpenter's defensive versatility in order to create periodic starting opportunities for first baseman Luke Voit. Monday presented such a fit with the Marlins starting lefty Jeff Locke in the series opener.

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ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter went back to an old glove on Monday, as he was asked to shift to second base for the first time this season.

The move isn't permanent, but the Cardinals have said they will consider tapping into Carpenter's defensive versatility in order to create periodic starting opportunities for first baseman Luke Voit. Monday presented such a fit with the Marlins starting lefty Jeff Locke in the series opener.

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"It's rare to have an All-Star-caliber guy, a guy who's been in the MVP conversation, so willing to do whatever it is that the club needs," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think that's a very team-centered approach, and it's very nice to see."

Carpenter has made 70 of his 73 starts this season at first base, a position the Cardinals carved out as his over the offseason. But Carpenter's experience at second is vast. He started 128 games there in 2013 and logged 37 more at the position a year ago. Carpenter recently added second-base defensive work to his pregame routine.

"The reality of it is you actually have more time to react now," Carpenter said. "I'm comfortable over there and Mike's got the confidence in me. I have the confidence in myself to go out there and give us a chance to win tonight."

Medical report

Though Kevin Siegrist, Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong each continue to take step forward in their rehab work, it is looking less likely that any of the three will be rejoining the Cardinals before the All-Star break.

Fowler, who was diagnosed with a right heel spur, said that it is still too painful to wear cleats. Right now, he's hitting, running and fielding in tennis shoes.

"Until I can get in a cleat, I can't play," said Fowler, who is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday. "I don't know [when that will be]. It depends how I feel."

Siegrist, who has been sidelined with a cervical spine sprain since June 23, returned to the mound on Monday to throw a bullpen session. General manager Michael Girsch said Siegrist will likely throw a second one midweek and then head out on a rehab assignment.

After incurring a setback last week that required a cortisone shot, Wong has progressed steadily. He was scheduled to take infield and batting practice on Monday to see how his right triceps responded to the increased work. He, too, will need to go out on a rehab assignment before returning.

International signings

Four of the 10 players the Cardinals signed on the first day of Major League Baseball's international signing period received the maximum $300,000 signing bonus the organization could offer. A bonus limitation was imposed upon the Cardinals and other clubs that exceeded their bonus pool money during the last signing period.

Outfielder Adanson Cruz (Dominican Republic), shortstop Sander Mora (Venezuela), catcher Jesus Orecchia (Venezuela) and outfielder Leudy Pena (Dominican Republic) each signed for $300,000. All four players are 16 years old.

The Cardinals also inked right-hander Jesus Cruz (Mexico), center fielder Joerlin De Los Santos (Dominican Republic), shortstop Darlyn Del Villar (Dominican Republic), outfielder Gustavo Rodriguez (Dominican Republic), catcher Luis Rodriguez (Venezuela) and catcher Jose Zapata (Venezuela).

The Cardinals have $5.75 million in bonus pool money to spend in the international market from now until June 15, 2018. They have already traded a portion of that away.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter