The St. Louis Cardinals are getting help, but not in the form of a trade.
While the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers make trades, the St. Louis Cardinals are getting players back from the disabled list. Second baseman Kolten Wong and relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist due back in the majors tomorrow.
Wong is coming off his second stint on the disabled list this season. He has been one of the best hitters on the St. Louis Cardinals when healthy. Entering play tomorrow, Wong brings a .301 average with an on-base percentage of .393. Despite just a lone home run, Wong has still been able to rack up extra base hits as he has 15 doubles this season (7 all of 2016).
While Wong has greatly improved, Siegrist has been on a downward spiral in 2017. In 27.1 innings, the lefty specialist has an ERA of 4.94 and a WHIP of 1.610, while allowing 9.5 hits per nine innings. Same handed batters are teeing off of the New York native, owning a triple slash line of .293/.396/.512. Thankfully, fellow left-hander Brett Cecil has calmed down recently, which should alleviate some pressure from Siegrist’s shoulders.
However, with good news comes bad news. Rookies Paul DeJong and Luke Voit have been impressive since they were called up to the bigs. While both men have impressed, Wong’s return means the infield has five starting caliber players for four spots.
There has to be an odd man out, and not everyone will agree. If I am Mike Matheny, I would have Voit be that odd man. Allow Wong to play second base, and have Carpenter move back to first, with the bench getting a boost.
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Former Cardinal Matt Adams’ role is similar to Voit’s in this scenario. He is a big man with a powerful bat with no room in the crowded and talented infield.
However, with Voit, we will hopefully not see him attempt to play left field.
As for Siegrist, 2017 has not been his year thus far, then again it has not been the bullpen’s year as a whole. Coming off of a cervical spine strain, Cecil will be the go to lefty until Siegrist gets his bearings back.
Another left-hander, Zach Duke, is back to playing baseball again. The St. Louis Cardinals acquired the former Chicago White Sox last season. He was as good as advertised, pitching 23.1 innings for the Cards while sporting a 1.93 ERA. He held lefties to a .233 average with St. Louis and Chicago combined. During his first rehab game with Gulf Coast on July 1, Duke allowed a hit and struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of work.
In just under 12 hours, baseball will be back on track, as the Cardinals take on the Pirates at 6:05pm CT. Hopefully the Cards can pick up where they left off to finish the first half.