Cardinals' Matt Carpenter: 'Feels great' after Tuesday return

Carpenter (back) filled the designated hitter role in his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday, drawing two walks and scoring twice in a pair of plate appearances during an 11-4 win over the Marlins.

He finally saw game action after dealing with a back issue since a mid-February weight lifting session brought about a sprain. Carpenter's exit after two at-bats was planned, according to Joe Trezza of, as opposed to a sign of any setback. He's now slated to play first base on Wednesday versus the Astros. As far as his debut outing, Carpenter encouragingly took multiple swings and ran the bases without issue, leaving him highly satisfied with his long-awaited return to the field. "I felt great," Carpenter said of his brief return. "I saw the ball well. Now, it's just about building at-bats through the spring and I'll be ready to go."

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