One game into the second half and another outfielder goes down with an injury for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Everything was looking up for the St. Louis Cardinals, as the 2017 All-Star Game was over and done. Carlos Martinez and Yadier Molina had stellar performances representing the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League’s nail-biting 2-1 loss to the American League in extras. Kolten Wong and Kevin Siegrist returned and Zach Duke was looking like his 2016 self during his rehab.
Once again, the injury bug had other ideas with left fielder Randal Grichuk being put on the 10-day disabled list. Then, in last night’s heartbreaking 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, right fielder Stephen Piscotty left the game in the ninth inning. A groin strain was the cause of Piscotty’s early exit, which has forced him to go on the 10 day disabled list as well.
Despite putting up impressive number for triple-A Memphis, Harrison Bader was not the man called up to take Piscotty’s place. Instead a familiar face, in Magneuris Sierra, returned. However, it is still disappointing to see Bader not get a chance to show what he can do for the big league club.
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Sierra was shockingly called up from single-A Palm Beach after Jose Martinez went down with an injury in early May.
Perhaps even more surprising, Sierra hit .367 (11-30) and tallied 8 runs during his seven game stint.
The 21-year-old would be called back up for a June 2nd game against the rival Chicago Cubs where he was 1-2 with an RBI and a walk.
On the upside, Piscotty was not having a good year. Offensively the team should not suffer a ton with his absence.
After last night, the former Stanford Cardinal’s average dipped to .236 with a slugging percentage of .371. Both of those numbers would be career lows as his on-base percentage would actually be higher than last season’s (.348 in 2017 vs .343 in 2016).
Defensively, Piscotty ties for second on the team in defensive runs saved with 6 (Tommy Pham and Mike Leake also have 6 DRS). In his short major league career, Sierra has a single defensive run saved. With his speed he should handle the outfield just the same as Stephen.
While Sierra might not start every day this time around, the young outfielder will benefit from his time spent with the Cardinals nonetheless. Best scenario is Piscotty comes back from this injury as the ballplayer he was the previous two seasons before. At the same time, we hope Sierra performs up to standards while on the Cardinals.