ARLINGTON -- Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter has lent his clout as one of Major League Baseball's stars to support efforts to discourage young people from using appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs. He’s done so as a member of the Advisory Board of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, a nonprofit organization named for a young player who died at 17 following his use of anabolic steroids.
Carpenter, a three-time All-Star for St. Louis, said he wanted to participate for many reasons.
“One, the health, the impact that it can have on your body when you treat it that way,” Carpenter said. “Also, for just the integrity of the game and keeping it the way it’s meant to be played under fair circumstances, league-wide. Those are the most important reasons, but I’m committed to it because I’ve always been a guy who takes a lot of pride in the way he takes care of himself. It’s not easy to eat and train and do the things you need to compete at a high level, and anytime someone’s taking a shortcut, it’s obviously not a good thing.”
The Taylor Hooton Foundation now has 42 players, spanning all 30 MLB teams, on its Advisory Board. The players are participating in the foundation’s “All Me” campaign, a print public-service announcement that will be featured in team programs and other media. The foundation has spoken to and educated nearly two million people in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Carpenter, Wong off to give Gyorko, Muñoz a chance
Manager Mike Shildt gave Carpenter a day off Sunday, only his third time out of the leadoff spot in the lineup in the first 46 games this season. (He appeared as a pinch-hitter in the other two.) Second baseman Kolten Wong also got a rare day off -- he, too, has appeared in every game, starting all but one.
Shildt said the move was less about Carpenter and Wong than getting Jedd Gyorko and Yairo Muñoz playing time. They started at third and second, and they batted eighth and ninth, respectively. With the Rangers starting left-hander Drew Smyly, the move made sense to Shildt.
“Jed and Moony need to get in there -- they haven’t played all road trip,” Shildt said. “A lefty is a factor of it. Carp’s swinging the bat better, so it wasn't necessarily as much as Carp getting the day or Kolten getting the day because of the lefty as much as those other guys being able to handle lefties well and also needing to play.”
• Shildt said reliever John Gant was fine after a scare in Saturday’s game in which he was hit by a hard line drive that bounced off him. Trainers and coaches rushed out to check on Gant, but the ball actually hit his glove.
“He almost made an unbelievable catch barehanded -- a couple times,” Shildt said.
• Sunday marked the Cardinals’ final trip to Globe Life Park, barring a long-shot World Series meeting this year. The Cards played there six times in the regular season and three times in the 2011 World Series.