St. Louis Cardinals’ Kolten Wong Returns from AAA Memphis
After a week of outstanding performance in Triple-A Memphis, the St. Louis Cardinals second baseman has been called back up to the major league roster, with a struggling outfielder being sent down.
Last week, after what seemed to be an endless string of poor hitting performances and defensive struggles, St. Louis Cardinals’ Kolten Wong was assigned to Memphis, in the hopes that a stint at a lower level would revitalize him and renew his confidence and value to the team.
It seems to have done just that: during the week Wong spent in Memphis, he hit .429, going 12 for 28 with 4 home runs. His performance hasn’t gone unnoticed, as he’s been called right back up to the big league roster.
With Wong back on the 25-man, outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker takes the trip down I-55 back to Triple-A, a familiar environment for the (former) career minor leaguer. After going on an absurd tear to begin the season, Hazelbaker has been horrific offensively, with only 11 hits in 64 plate appearances since May 1.
However, Wong’s return may not have him slotting into the same role in which he left. While in Memphis, he started 3 games in center field, a decision that may seem strange and haphazard, but in fact calls back to his early days as a center fielder in Hawaii.
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It’s a possibility that Wong will still slot into an infield position if need be, but with his defensive struggles at second all season long and a rock-solid infield that includes Jhonny Peralta, Aledmys Diaz, and Matt Carpenter, Wong likely won’t see much time there. He’s likely to get some starts in center field, where starter Randal Grichuk has struggled immensely at the plate for several weeks.
Next: Cardinals Weigh Center Field Options
It’s entirely possible that despite the quick second chance and new role, Wong continues to struggle at the major league level. The Cardinals hope otherwise.