ST. LOUIS — Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter was suspended for Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays for making contact with an umpire in Sunday’s game after being ejected for arguing a called third strike.
Carpenter elected to serve the suspension Tuesday rather than appeal. He and the Cardinals weren’t aware he had bumped umpire John Tumpane until the ruling came down from MLB discipline czar Joe Torre.
“That was the first I’d heard about the contact,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “I didn’t watch it close enough. I watched the pitches that led up to it. It was pretty clear that if you made contact, it was going to be a day, so the benefit we can take is the extra day to let that finger get some of the pain and swelling out of it.”
Carpenter has been dealing with pain in his right middle finger since taking a ground ball off it in an April 16 game. He is off to an uncharacteristically slow start, batting .236 with a .726 on-base percentage. Before Carpenter elected to serve the suspension, Matheny had moved him out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup to bat second for the first time this season. Carpenter has spent the majority of his career as a leadoff hitter, but moved to No. 3 after the Cardinals signed Dexter Fowler, who also is struggling.