With Dexter Fowler coming off the disabled list on Monday, the Cardinals made yet another bold move, optioning their Opening Day right fielder, Stephen Piscotty, to Triple-A Memphis. Piscotty is the third member of the Opening Day lineup to be sent to the minors this season, joining left fielder Randal Grichuk and shortstop Aledmys Diaz, and that doesn’t even factor in third baseman Jhonny Peralta, who was designated for assignment in June.
Piscotty, who has posted a .270/.346/.443 slash line through 1,196 big-league appearances, has struggled for the entirety of this season, hitting .232/.340/.362 with six homers in 291 plate appearances. He’s been on the disabled list twice—first for a strained hamstring, then a strained groin—while also dealing with a very difficult off-the-field situation as his mother battles ALS.
Despite the fact that the 26-year-old has been outplayed by Jose Martinez and Tommy Pham this season, the Cardinals will certainly be hoping that he can work out his struggles in the minor leagues, as they just signed him to a six-year contract worth $33.5 million in April.
Here’s what else is happening in the National League Central:
- The Brewers’ decision to keep playing Keon Broxton in center field isn’t as misguided as some have made it out to be.
- Willson Contreras, who’s perhaps been the hottest hitter in baseball since the All-Star break, was named the NL Player of the Week.
- Major League Baseball’s first Lithuanian-born player, Dovydas Neverauskas, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis as the Pirates activated recent waiver acquisition George Kontos.
- With Eric Sogard and Jonathan Villar struggling, the Brewers might want to explore a waiver-wire deal for a second baseman.
- Don Baylor, who managed the Cubs from 2000-02, passed away following a long battle with cancer on Monday.
- Jung-Ho Kang may never return to the Pirates.
- The Cardinals’ struggle to rise to the top of the NL Central over the past two seasons may be due to their lack of star players.
- The Brewers, who have held spring training in Maryvale, Arizona since 1998, are reportedly exploring new spring facilities.
- Paul DeJong, the Cardinals’ surprise leader in home runs, is one of the most extreme hitters in baseball.
- Carl Edwards Jr. is showing signs of fatigue and may need a reset at Triple-A Iowa.