John Mozeliak really did not have a choice any longer. After a confounding start where one of baseball’s best teams is not hitting the ball the St. Louis Cardinals shuffled their roster Sunday night. Mozeliak sent second basemen Kolten Wong and outfielder Shane Robinson down to AAA Memphis.
In turn, infielder Greg Garcia and outfielder Randal Grichuk were called up to fill the two roster spots. Garcia was hitting .267 at AAA Memphis but had five home runs. Grichuk was batting .310, is a true center fielder and had three home runs and 17 RBI in Memphis as well.
Wong has struggled this season after a great spring training. The rookie won the second base job easily and was poised to make his stamp on a Cardinal lineup that needed the athleticism Wong possesses. However, as he struggled his swing became inconsistent and Mozeliak felt he needed to get more at bats.
He was not going to get them on a Cardinals roster that was already struggling at the plate and could not wait for him to work out of his slump at the big league level.
“This will give him a chance to play every day and if he gets back on track, that would be helpful,” the Cardinals General Manager acknowledged.
Grichuk was pat of an outstanding Memphis outfield that Mozeliak had referred to in spring training as being better than some of the outfields now playing in the majors. He can play all three positions and provides some right-handed power for a Cardinal team that has not been much of home run threat this season.
To give perspective to all this consider what the Cardinal outfield is doing at the plate. Or not doing. Matt Holliday is hitting .272 with one home run. Allen Craig is hitting .177 with one home run and opening day starter Peter Bourjos is batting .163 and zero home runs.
Holliday is beginning to heat up lately but he is the only one showing any signs of life in the outfield. Grichuk can only help as the Cardinals finally shuffled their roster.
Waino is Bueno:
Adam Wainright did it again Sunday. The Cardinals ace pitched 8 innings of shutout ball, giving up just three hits and striking out seven. In the process Wainwright lifted his record to 5-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.20. Wainwright became just the fourth pitcher in Cardinal history to begin May with five wins. The other Card pitchers to do it were Darryl Kile in 2000, Bob Tewksbury in 1994 and John Denny in 1977. Wainwright also became the first pitcher in major league baseball this season to reach five wins.
Peralta Shows Signs of Life:
Jhonny Peralta, after a horrendous start is showing signs of turning things around at the plate. Peralta hit two home runs Sunday and raised his average to .195. The shortstop now has six home runs on the season and five doubles and with just 16 hits total.
Between the resurgence of Peralta, Holliday and the shuffling of the Cardinals roster Mozeliak hopes this is what ignites the St. Louis offense. He has two more outfielders waiting in Memphis hitting the cover off the ball if not.
Commentary by Mick Varner
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the St. Louis Cardinals