The St. Louis Cardinals shook up their roster on Sunday following the game when they optioned second baseman Kolten Wong and outfielder Shane Robinson to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA, Pacific Coast League). St. Louis Post-Dispatch baseball writer Rick Hummel reported the news late Sunday night.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Kolten Wong and think he has a superb future but he’s continuing to struggle to hit the ball. After an 0-for-4 day on Friday, Wong’s batting average dropped to .225 on the season and didn’t appear during the rest of the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend. Moreover and just as telling for the second baseman, Wong was only 7-for-36 (.194) in his last 10 games. These numbers just won’t cut it at the Major League level. My only hope is that Wong gets things worked out and gets back up for good.
It’s not uncommon for top prospects to have a slow start to their career before going on to prosper in the game. It’s happened to players in the Hall of Fame, too. Of course, Wong’s troubles this season are only part of the problem. Allen Craig has been hitting poorly. So has Jhonny Peralta.
Robinson, who is hitting .100 in 20 at-bats this season, joined Wong in being sent down to Memphis. While Robinson can be a defensive replacement late in games, his offense as a pinch-hitter just hasn’t been there this season.
The Cardinals are promoting Greg Garcia, who was a teammate of Wong’s at college, and Randal Grichuk. Garcia was hitting .267 in Memphis. Grichuk won the promotion battle over Stephen Piscotty and Oscar Taveras. Grichuck was hitting .310 with Memphis before being called up by the Cardinals. He is more than capable of playing all three outfield positions, whether it be coming off the bench or making spot starts.
General manager John Mozeliak was quoted by Hummel as saying:
“We can give (Wong and Robinson) some at-bats. They weren’t getting a lot of playing time here in the last couple of weeks and, especially for Wong, that trend probably would continue.”
Until Wong gets it together, it appears that Mark Ellis will get the majority of time at second base for the foreseeable future.