Stephen Piscotty and the coming St. Louis Cardinals outfield logjam
I expect Stephen Piscotty to be among the next batch of players that the St. Louis Cardinals option down to Memphis, in which he will join an outfield consisting Randal Grichuk and Oscar Taveras.
Feb 24, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty (91) poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
It’s not that the Stanford alumnus isn’t ready for the big leagues. It’s being able to find him the at-bats in the big leagues. Right now? I just don’t see it happening. Unless the National League suddenly decides to institute the Designated Hitter, it’s just not going to happen. With Matt Adams limited to only being able to play first base or DH in games in an American League park, the at-bats just are not there. Because of the Adams situation, Allen Craig is starting the season as the every day right fielder. I would expect Craig will play first when Matheny gives Adams the day off.
That said, the team has invested in Craig for the long-term future. They would not have signed him to an extension if they weren’t making an investment in his future.
Likewise, Jon Jay and Shane Robinson will be platooning in the outfield to spell the likes of Matt Holliday or Peter Bourjos. This is where things get just as tricky for the Cardinals. When Taveras or Piscotty do get called up, somebody will be the odd man out. Taveras or Piscotty won’t there to be part-time players but full-time.
Where does this leave the Cardinals right now? It would take something devastating to happen for the Cardinals to promote Piscotty or even Taveras. I don’t think anybody wants to think about such things happening at the moment. It just proves to show that the logjam isn’t just limited to the Cardinals pitching but also the outfield.
Piscotty is one of those players that would be wasted by sitting on the bench all the time. He’s an everyday player. Before the Cardinals acquired Bourjos, I would have predicted Taveras in center and Piscotty in right as the outfield of the future. By getting Bourjos, it moves Taveras to right and leaves Piscotty with a question mark. These two Cardinals prospects are not meant to be platooned but to start every day.