WATCH: Carpenter says lack of identity at plate is why he struggled; New focus to not pull the ball

The Cardinals infielder was brutally honest about what happened last year and explained what his new approach will be.

Sam Masterson
January 20, 2020 - 3:00 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Matt Carpenter hit below .230, with fewer than 20 home runs and 50 RBI last year in what was his worst offensive year of his career. He told media at St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up that he feels like he hasn't found his identity yet as a hitter. 

So this offseason, he says he hasn't tried to pull the ball at all and try to get back to the type of player he was when he came up. Like in 2013, when he led the league with 55 doubles. 

"Sometimes it takes something like last year to figure out how did we get to this point," Carpenter says. "I've had a lot of good conversations, I actually have hit with some former teammates and former players and have spent some time having some deep conversations about what I can expect out of myself and the kind of swing I can have. And basically came to a point to say let's just get back to hitting line drives and if you run into a home run, great. But avoiding striking out and just taking good at bats again, you know, last year that got away from me."

There are a lot of positive expectations of Carpenter in 2020 if you ask his manager and teammates. 

Mike Shildt says he expects the 34-year-old to be a "fairly big" piece of the Cardinals 2020 offense. 

"The good news is that Matt's capable of hitting anywhere (in the lineup), I really, firmly believe that," Shildt says. "And I also really, firmly believe he's ready to be in a great spot to compete and help us this year and be a more complete hitter ... Sometimes we get in between our identities a little bit and I think that's what's taken place with Matt."

Shildt's believes Carpenter has some clarity on what kind of hitter he is.  

Adam Wainwright named Carpenter as one of his expected teammates to have a big season in 2020. 

"I think last year might have been an important year for Carp in his development as a player," Wainwright says. "Definitely think he's going to have a much more Matt Carpenter-like year this year."

Paul Goldschmidt says he expects a "huge year" out of Carpenter. 

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