When Stephen Piscotty went down in the second game of the series, it was Matt Adams, not Jose Martinez, who took over in the outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals.
It began late in Spring Training when Matt Adams began shagging fly balls in left field during batting practice and on the back fields. He even made it into some Grapefruit League games in the outfield, and eventually got some chances to catch fly balls in the game setting.
He got the call to trot out to left at Busch Stadium sooner than he probably expected.
Necessity caused the move when Stephen Piscotty’s rough trip around the bases in game two forced him out for the remainder of the contest. Needing someone to take over for Piscotty in the field the next inning, Matheny moved Grichuk from left to right. Instead of sending fourth outfielder Jose Martinez out to left to take Grichuk’s spot, he called Adams’ number.
He got three fly ball chances in the first two innings, and caught all three.
Adams wasn’t in left field for his defense. He was in left field because of his bat. He nearly tied the game when he drove a ball 400 feet to straightaway center that landed in the glove of a leaping Albert Almora Jr.
On Thursday, Adams got the start in left field and hit fifth in Matheny’s lineup. He drove in a run with a single in the bottom of the first inning but struck out in his next two at-bats. He flubbed on a diving attempt at a fly ball in the gap and was switched out for Stephen Piscotty in the sixth inning.
If Big City’s bat is too good to keep on the bench, he’ll see more and more of left field as the season continues.