ST. LOUIS -- With David Freese off the disabled list and presumably ready to resume playing almost daily, the Cardinals will be left to divvy up playing time at second base between Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso.
The pair entered Spring Training competing for the starting job at the position, though no clear winner emerged by the end of camp. Rather, manager Mike Matheny has said he intends to consider various factors on a daily basis to determine which of the two will start on any given day.
"There's going to be a juggling act a little bit," Matheny said.
The fact that Carpenter drew Wednesday's start behind sinkerball pitcher Jake Westbrook is further evidence of how far he has come defensively at the position. With the Cardinals believing Carpenter to present no defensive liability at second base, opposing pitchers are likely to play a large role in Matheny's daily decision.
Matheny also showed last year that he won't hesitate to stick for an extended period of time with whoever is rolling offensively. Carpenter entered Wednesday with multihit games in four of his seven starts. He ranked second in the league with four doubles and has scored in all five games in which he has gotten a hit.
Wednesday's start marked just his second of the season at second base. Descalso has started the other seven and is 7-for-28 at the plate.
"How well Matt has adapted to second base, I think, is very impressive," Matheny said. "It didn't surprise any of us. As soon as we started talking about it and put a work list together on the things he needed to work on in the winter, we knew it would probably be taken care of, and he did a great job."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.