Goldschmidt can focus on investing in his new team and new division for years to come while bringing his MVP-caliber performance and detail-oriented approach to the game. In a clubhouse that has had enough turnover that Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are the only regulars left from the Cardinals’ championship team in 2011 (though Matt Carpenter had a cup of coffee that year), Goldschmidt has a lot to teach the guys around him. Of course, he stays low-key about this role.“It’s not really about me. I just try to step in and do my job,” Goldschmidt said. “Follow the lead that these guys have set, try to fit in with this team, and do the best I can to help this team win.”Doing the best he can has a lot to do with the details, like tagging up and getting an extra base. If Goldschmidt keeps doing that, and his teammates can pick up and do the same, it might be enough to tilt that one game that decides the whole thing. MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZN“I’m just honored to be a part of it,” Goldschmidt said before Thursday’s opening day game in Milwaukee.The Cardinals lost Thursday 5-4, as the Brewers’ steady starting pitching, knockout bullpen and deep lineup proved too much. Both teams know that the NL Central is shaping up to be a dogfight — in Texas the Cubs stomped the Rangers 12-4 on Thursday — and Goldschmidt was brought to St. Louis to bring the kind of boost the Cardinals need to come out on top.His credentials are undeniable, but a huge part of Goldschmidt’s worth comes from the things he does that don’t appear on his Baseball Reference page. At times last year, the Cardinals drew criticism for uncharacteristically sloppy play, so Goldschmidt’s presence carries value beyond his stat line.Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said that simply having him in the lineup “settles everything down” for the rest of the order. Even when he’s not filling up the box score, Goldschmidt has something to offer.On Thursday he struck out three times and drew an ultimately ineffectual walk, but one play in particular served as the best example of his intangibles.In the top of the sixth, while the Cardinals were down by two runs, Goldschmidt led off the inning with a walk. Paul DeJong struck out, and then after Junior Guerra relieved starter Jhoulys Chacín, Marcell Ozuna singled to left and Goldschmidt moved to second. Yadier Molina worked a full count and then flew out to Christian Yelich in right field, and Goldschmidt tagged up and hustled to third.There, with two outs, and runners now on the corners, Goldschmidt had given his team a better chance to score. It’s a small thing, but it’s the kind of detail in Goldschmidt’s game that has already stood out to teammate Matt Carpenter.“He’s a complete player. He’s not just going to be a slugger who hits in the middle of our lineup and that’s all he brings to the table,” Carpenter told Sporting News. “He really is a five-tool guy.”MORE: Fernando Tatis Jr. shows why he belongs in MLB nowCarpenter and Goldschmidt have played against each other since their high school days when both were in Texas and again as National League opponents. But for the first time Carpenter is seeing what Goldschmidt’s off-the-field work is like, and he said he’s been struck by his new teammate’s attention to detail.“It’s the quantity of his preparation,” Carpenter said.One game into the season, Goldschmidt knows the value of those little details, like tagging up and heading for third base.“We’ve seen how tough this division is. It can come down to one game,” Goldschmidt said before Thursday’s contest. “It might be this game.”Last year, the Cardinals arguably came within a baserunner of disrupting the Brewers’ path to the NLCS, so making a habit of edging out an extra base can pay off, even if it ultimately didn’t on Thursday for the Cardinals.After Goldschmidt tagged up and got to third safely, Dexter Fowler popped out to shortstop to end the inning. Goldschmidt’s efforts, it would seem, had come for nothing.But attentive fans and players of the game know better. It might not have turned into a run this time, but Goldschmidt — and his watching teammates — know that it could next time. Or the time after that. And every extra run will be needed to win the division. Before a pitch of the 2019 season was thrown, Goldschmidt’s new teammates could see what was ahead.“I’ll say this now, the team who survives this division is going to win the World Series,” Carpenter said. “Talk about being battle-tested, you’ll get a really good chance once we get out of it.”Goldschmidt knows the challenge the will come over the next six months, too. He’s played against the teams in the division before, but not 19 times a season, which makes a big difference. For instance, before Thursday he had only faced Brewers reliever Josh Hader twice, and it showed. Goldschmidt swung almost helplessly at three straight fastballs in the eighth.MORE: Reds have new energy that could liven up NL CentralBut Goldschmidt will have years to learn the division, thanks to a contract extension that was completed a week before the season started. When the Cardinals traded for him, he had one year left on his current contract, which could have meant that his tenure in St. Louis would be short. Goldschmidt insisted that this would not have been a distraction during the 2019 season had an extension not been reached, but he was still glad to get it done.“One more thing that won’t be on my mind,” Goldschmidt said. “It’s something you know is going to come up, it’s a part of being a major league baseball player. Having that done is good.” MILWAUKEE — Almost a year ago, Paul Goldschmidt was in St. Louis for the Cardinals’ season home opener. He remembers the jubilant atmosphere and the bit of awe that he felt, even as a member of the opposing team, watching as the Cardinals celebrated the history of their franchise.Now, at the dawn of the 2019 season and only one official game with his new team under his belt, Goldschmidt is still getting used to the new uniform he’s putting on and all the history comes with it.