Matt Carpenter’s world changed on May 25.
The former TCU third baseman and St. Louis Cardinals All-Star became a father when his wife, Mackenzie, gave birth to a daughter, Kinley Rae. The couple has been together since their time at Fort Bend Elkins High School.
“It definitely changed my sleeping patterns a little bit,” joked Carpenter. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Playing as a father for the first time also has been fun for Carpenter. The 30-year-old has hit safely in 14 of the 16 games since Kinley was born, including a current season-high 11-game hitting streak. He was batting .295 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs before Saturday’s game against the Rangers.
Over his past five seasons, including two All-Star Game appearances, Carpenter has become the face of the Cardinals’ franchise.
“It’s hard for me to look at myself with that kind of lens, but it’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” he said. “I put a lot of work into being a good player and representing this organization in a positive way and trying to be a good role model on and off the field.
“All that stuff is important, so I try to do my best at it.”
Carpenter remains a proud TCU alumnus who lives near campus — just down the street from former college teammate and Rangers catcher Bryan Holaday. He keeps up with the Horned Frogs throughout the season and will be getting updates Sunday afternoon on their College World Series opener against Texas Tech.
“Absolutely. Even when I am playing, we’ll have it on in the clubhouse,” he said. “If they’re on TV, I’m watching.”
Carpenter’s last season at TCU was in 2009, the year the Frogs reached their first Super Regional. They lost in three games to Texas in Austin, but the foundation was set under coach Jim Schlossnagle. The next year, TCU met the Longhorns again and advanced to the first of four CWS.
▪ Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (TCU) improved to 11-1 with six scoreless innings Friday against the Pirates. He struck out 11 to run his total to 101 in 93 innings.
▪ Former TCU left fielder Jason Coats made his major league debut for the White Sox on June 4 but left after colliding with center fielder J.B. Shuck. He returned the next day but is still seeking his first major league hit after opening 0 for 9 with two walks and seven strikeouts.
▪ Red Sox utility man Brock Holt (Stephenville) is still at least a week away from starting a rehab assignment after suffering a concussion May 18, according to The Boston Globe.
▪ Right-hander Matt Walker (Aledo, Weatherford College) hasn’t allowed a run in his past five relief appearances (7 2/3 innings) for Class A Clinton (Mariners). He has nine strikeouts and one walk in that stretch.
Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST