JUPITER, Fla. • Paul Goldschmidt, who hit 17 homers, drove in 40 runs and batted .349 while hitting second in Arizona’s lineup for 47 games last season, will make his first appearance in that spot this spring on Sunday.
The Cardinals are rolling out their regular starting eight, minus Matt Carpenter, for an exhibition game against Miami.
Paul DeJong will hit third behind Goldschmidt and ahead of Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler will lead off instead of Carpenter, who has been scratched. Goldschmidt had hit third in all his previous exhibition games with the Cardinals.
“Whatever (manager Mike Shildt) wants me to do,” Goldschmidt said, recently. “Makes no difference to me. That’s what I told him.”
Talking about his performance in that slot with Arizona, Goldschmidt said, “I don’t look at any stats.
“But most of that would have still happened hitting third,” Goldschmidt said. “I could have been bad, too, so who knows?
“It just depends when I put my batting gloves on _ whether it’s when the pitcher is hitting or the eight-hole hitter is hitting. I’m just get ready to hit.
“Our job as players is to do what the coaching staff tells us to do. Whatever Shildty and the rest decide, I’ll do it to the best of my ability.”
John Gant, still in competition with Dakota Hudson for the fifth starting spot, will open for the Cardinals, with Tyler Webb, Chris Beck and Tommy Layne in reserve. Drew Robinson, jousting for an extra man’s job, will play third.
Hudson will start against Philadelphia on Monday, to be followed by Alex Reyes, Jordan Hicks, Andrew Miller, Chasen Shreve and John Brebbia.