Cardinals' Matt Carpenter: Manning first base Wednesday

Carpenter (back) will make his Grapefruit League debut in the field Wednesday against the Astros, Joe Trezza of He'll play first base and bat third.

Carpenter checked out fine while serving as the Cardinals' designated hitter in Tuesday's exhibition against the Marlins, drawing walks in both of his plate appearances on the day. The veteran's return to the infield suggests the Cardinals aren't too concerned about his health heading into Opening Day, but Carpenter will still need to pick up several at-bats over the next week to ensure he's ready to handle a full-time role when the season begins.

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