St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Peter Bourjos deserves playing time


St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Peter Bourjos deserves more playing time.
May 5, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Peter Bourjos (8) hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Image Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
With five hits in two starts this week, Bourjos is starting to get into a rhythm at the plate. Should manager Mike Matheny decide to Jon Jay when the Cardinals continue the road trip on Friday to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, it would not be received all that well in Cardinal Nation. All one had to do was take a look at Twitter on Tuesday when the lineup was announced.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz offers his thoughts on Bourjos including what some scouts have told him.

"Scouts I’ve talked to say the more Bourjos plays, the better he gets. I reviewed some stretches in his career where that seemed to be the case. But I also saw one stretch in 2011 where he played a lot and hit little. But generally this is true: players need at-bats, and they aren’t going to be sharp when they don’t get them. And Bourjos never really was given a sustained opportunity to get going."

It couldn’t be truer. If Bourjos is not given a chance, how else will he be able to find a rhythm at the plate? Going into the batting cage is not the answer. An increase in playing time is.

I remember when Tony LaRussa started to platoon left-handed hitting outfielder Jim Edmonds and I was not a fan of that. Sure, Edmonds didn’t hit left-handed pitching but who else is going to make those amazing plays in the outfield?!? I’m certainly no fan of platooning Bourjos with Jay, especially if Jay is in a slump, too. The difference is Bourjos is the better defender in center field.

Speaking of center field, general manager John Mozeliak was on with Edmonds and Tim McKernan. The subject of Oscar Taveras and center field came up.