The St. Louis Cardinals have decided to give their freshly signed and struggling second baseman a shot in center field. While this may seem silly, it is worth a shot.
By now you are aware that the St. Louis Cardinals’ Kolten Wong is having a rough year and it came to a head when he got sent down to AAA Memphis last week. Things have taken quite the turn here recently, as Kolten Wong made an appearance in center field for the Memphis Redbirds last night.
At first thought, this sounds like a crazy idea. Kolten Wong was drafted as a second baseman and before last night, played all 622 of his games in the organization at second. However, before he became a second baseman at the University of Hawaii he was an outfielder. So, the instincts could potentially be there still.
Wong possesses really good speed and has fairly good range as a second baseman, so naturally, center field is your first thought on another position. This is especially true when you consider that at the moment the Cardinals have Jeremy Hazelbaker and Randal Grichuk as their options in center and Stephen Piscotty playing out of position.
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The problem is that neither of the two first choices are hitting very well right now and neither are all that impressive defensively. Not to mention, Matt Carpenter and Jhonny Peralta have switched around defensively to keep Aledmys Diaz at short and in the lineup. As of right now, none of these three are leaving the lineup anytime soon.
There is also the idea that Joe Schwarz of Viva El Birdos points out, “In my opinion, if long-time infielders Ian Desmond or Howie Kendrick can make the transition, why not at least give Wong the opportunity while he is righting the ship down in Memphis?” This is a fantastic point that Joe makes as these two have done very well in the OF for their teams.
All in all, it really is worth a shot. Wong’s defense at second hasn’t been the greatest, but it hasn’t been that bad. I truly believe he is still the “long term” option for the Cardinals there, but to help his team be a contender it may be better for him to give a second position a shot.