Even with DeJong out, does Matt Carpenter really belong in the 5 spot in the Cardinals lineup?

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In our weekly chat with Post-Dispatch readers, we also look at a hypothetical Mizzou-SLU matchup and a real Blues-Avalanche showdown. Here are some of the top questions.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter looks out from the dugout during a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, May 9, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Q: One theme of this 2021 Cards season: All roads lead back to Matt Carpenter. I can’t remember an athlete who has done less yet finds himself in better positions. I get that he is next man up by default but why is he batting 5th? Does Shildt have a line-up floor for his veterans where no established player hits lower than 6th?

A: Shildt has dropped players in the order in the past when he has options. You can ask Paul DeJong about that. That said, even with DeJong and Molina both out of the lineup I would not bat Carpenter fifth. That puts even more pressure on a guy who is fighting to stay in the big leagues. It puts an even bigger spotlight on him for John Mozeliak. Carpenter did get on base a few times Thursday, so that may earn him more at bats with DeJong out. But Jose Rondon had a nice spring and drove the ball well at Memphis, so he could be ready to make a play for the utility job.

Q: The way this manager continually…

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