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PCL notes: Redbirds' Carpenter rolling05/16/2011 10:00 AM ET
By Chris Jackson / Special to MLB.com
The St. Louis Cardinals did not dip into their Minor League system when third baseman David Freese broke his hand on May 1.
The club preferred to go with Major League options but, in time, Memphis third baseman Matt Carpenter could force his way into the picture.
Cardinals farm director John Vuch said the club did not consider Carpenter for a callup when Freese went down, but that thinking was more a reflection of several outside factors than the way Carpenter has played for the Redbirds.
"He's very new to the organization," Vuch said. "Even after this season, he doesn't need to be protected from the Rule 5 [Draft]. There's some 40-man [roster] considerations there.
"The feeling right now is we have other guys who can do the job. I won't say it's been ruled out. We're not in a rush to bring him up. It's his first year at Triple-A. That's a good learning experience for him."
Carpenter said he never worried about whether or not the Cardinals saw him as a possible replacement for Freese.
"All that kind of stuff is out of your control," Carpenter said. "In baseball, there's just a few things you can control in this game. That's definitely the kind of thing you can't, whether or not a guy up there is playing or if he's hurt.
"I just try to come to the ballpark every day, come out and be competitive and give it my best, day in and day out."
It's that attitude that most impresses Vuch and the Cardinals brass.
"He has a real good approach," Vuch said. "He's a hard worker. He's smart enough to take it at-bat to at-bat. He focuses on the task at hand. He doesn't get wrapped up in the bigger picture.
"It's not his decision where he plays; it's his decision how he plays."
Carpenter has batted .300 with two homers and 16 RBI in 36 games for Memphis. His most impressive statistic, as it was last season, is a .437 on-base percentage.
"It's really important, especially here [in the PCL]," said Carpenter, who led all St. Louis farmhands with a .418 mark in 2010. "Guys try to get you to hit their pitch a lot more often than [at] most levels. That's the key to hitting: You want to make them get it over the plate, give you something you want to swing at. I've always tried to really bear down on that part of my game, really be disciplined at the plate and look for a good pitch to hit."
Vuch said Carpenter's early success is a continuation of a strong spring that opened eyes in the organization.
"He had an outstanding spring, he impressed a lot of people in big league camp," Vuch said of Carpenter, a 2009 13th-round pick. "It put him on the radar."
Triple sac: Nashville outfielder Jordan Brown tied a PCL single-game record with three sacrifice flies in a' 5-2 win over Fresno on Thursday. The former University of Arizona standout was acquired from the Indians organization in a May 2 trade and has hit .281 (9-for-32) in 11 games for the Brewers' top affiliate.
Cycling through: Oklahoma City shortstop Tommy Manzella hit for the cycle on Tuesday in a 10-5 win over visiting Tacoma. He doubled in the second inning, tripled in the fourth, singled in the sixth and led off the eighth with a home run.
Back in action: Sacramento outfielder Michael Taylor made his season debut Friday after recovering from a wrist sprain. Taylor, ranked as Oakland's No. 10 prospect by MLB.com, went 1-for-5 in his first game. He hit .272 with 78 RBIs last season.