Carpenter is slashing .100/.280/.100 with only two singles and five walks over the 25 plate appearances covering his 12 game appearances in May. The struggling veteran had shown a burst of life by homering in back-to-back games as a pinch hitter to close out April, but that proved to be just a flash of success that quickly vanished. Carpenter has only drawn four starts during the current month, and with good reason -- he currently seems incapable of snapping out of a funk that dates back to the beginning of the 2020 campaign. Carpenter's .111 BABIP certainly isn't helping, but both a 54.1 percent flyball rate and career-worst 32.5 percent strikeout rate are equal culprits, at minimum. Ironically, Carpenter's most impressive performance to date in May came on the mound Saturday night against the Padres -- the 35-year-old fired 1.1 scoreless innings during which he allowed just a pair of singles to close out the blowout loss.
Carpenter blasted a pinch-hit three-run home run in Friday's 7-3 win over the Pirates. Carpenter has now homered as a pinch hitter in each of the last two contests, as he provided the Cardinals with some insurance with his three-run shot in the top of the sixth inning Friday. The 35-year-old hasn't started in any of the last five games and is now hitting .116 with three home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs this season.
Carpenter slugged a pinch-hit three-run home run in Thursday's win over the Phillies. Carpenter turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead with a long ball off Aaron Nola, the veteran's second homer this season. The batted-ball numbers point to a lot of bad luck for Carpenter early on, but the lack of production has eaten into his time regardless. His last start for St. Louis was back on April 23.
Carpenter is not in Sunday's lineup against the Reds, Katie Woo of The Athletic reports. Carpenter saw an increase in playing time as Tommy Edman was forced to play in the outfield regularly due to injuries. However, the return of Tyler O'Neill has allowed Edman to return to second base on a regular basis, cutting into Carpenter's playing time.
Carpenter is out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Nationals, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports. Tommy Edman will move from right field to second base while Carpenter heads to the bench for only the second time in seven games. With Tyler O'Neill (groin) and Harrison Bader (forearm) both on the injured list, Edman will be needed in the outfield more frequently in the short term, so Carpenter should see steady work at second base. The veteran is sitting on a .419 OPS and 35.9 percent strikeout rate through 39 plate appearances, but a 26.3 percent barrel rate and 68.4 percent hard-hit rate -- both which rank in the top one percent of all players -- suggest that better days could be ahead for Carpenter.