A.J. Pierzynski – More Valuable Than You Thought
When Cardinals GM John Mozeliak signed Catcher A.J. Pierzynski in July, I was just as skeptical as many a Cardinals fan.
The attitude. The rumors of being a bad teammate. His age. His decline in play. Lots of stuff.
In A.J., I see a guy that absolutely loves and supports his teammates. A guy that will do anything for his team – whether it’s being a cheerleader, a backup to Yadi and Tony Cruz, a bat off the bench or a trusted advisor.
I know in Mo we should always trust.
So I’ve given him a chance. And I’m really glad I have!
I see a guy that absolutely loves and supports his teammates. A guy that will do anything for his team – whether it’s being a cheerleader, a backup to Yadi and Tony Cruz, a bat off the bench or a trusted advisor.
After Sunday’s walk-off win off the bat of Kolten Wong, during the celebration you could see Kolten looking for A.J. Once he found him, Kolten asked A.J. if he’d gotten on base. In A.J.’s own unique way, he told Kolten that yes, in fact, he did get on base. In the post game press conference, Kolten was asked about this exchange. Kolten said A.J. approached him and told him to just get a base hit. Just swing for a base hit.
Well. Kolten did a little bit more than that! Thankfully!
Then, yesterday, I read a story by Brian Stull of STLBaseballWeekly.com, about A.J.’s influence on Adam Wainwright. This story is great. Here’s what I really loved though:
"“He said let’s just look at your delivery and make sure you’re getting in the right spots,” shared Adam Wainwright last night of going over video with Pierzynski, who identified the right-hander was keeping the baseball in his glove too long.“He was in the video room, I was in the video room getting prepared for maybe hitting later in the game, and I was just talking to him and asking him what he was looking at,” explained Pierzynski on Sunday. “He was sitting there kind of doing stuff from early in the year, what he saw.“The first thing I asked him was he physically okay? He said yes, which I know people have been questioning for awhile here. And then second of all, he’s like what do you see? And I just talked to him about a minor thing that I saw from the video that we were watching together. And I was like, Look, if you don’t think this is right, then you can tell me to beat it, but he’s like, No.And I was like, Sometimes this is what I see out of you when you’re good, this is what I see when you’re struggling, you’re up a little bit, not as sharp, this is what I see.“We did some side‑by‑side stuff and he said, Wow, that might actually happen and that’s something I thought about in the past, but I thought I had that pretty licked. And last night, as we watched it, as the game went you could see it getting a little bit worse as the innings went by. Something that will hopefully help, and in the next start, he will be better.”"
Just an observant eye helping the team’s ace figure out what his problem may actually be. I mean. Wow! If Adam pitches again this series … or in the World Series … I look forward to seeing if A.J.’s advice helps.
With Yadier Molina in a day-to-day situation with a strained oblique, I also look forward to seeing if A.J. will be behind the plate today to catch John Lackey in San Francisco. Yadi talks like he wants to “give it a swing” but, maybe a day will be a good thing. I’d rather he be available in the long term than for one at bat.
Whatever happens, A.J. was a good get by Mo and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does for us this postseason!