Cardinals Keep Piscotty, Option out Voit

photo: Stephen Piscotty (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals kept Sunday’s 26th-man, outfielder Stephen Piscotty, optioning first baseman Luke Voit to Memphis on Monday.

St. Louis Cardinals press release (Sunday, Aug. 20)

Stephen Piscotty (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have added outfielder Stephen Piscotty from Memphis (AAA) to their roster for tonight’s Major League Baseball Little League Classic as the 26th man.

Piscotty, 26, the Cardinals supplemental 1st round pick out of Stanford University in the 2012 draft, was optioned to Memphis (AAA) on August 7 and played in eight games. He batted .313 (10-for-32) with four home runs, three doubles and seven RBI, while compiling an on-base percentage of .421 and an on-base+ slugging percentage of 1.202. He hit his four home runs in his first six games.

Prior to his option, Piscotty batted .232 with six home runs and 31 RBI over 75 games at the Major League level. He experienced two stints on the 10-day disabled list earlier this season with a strained right hamstring (May 5-19) and a strained right groin (July 15-31) causing him to miss 28 games this season.

Brian Walton’s take

Luke Voit (USA TODAY Sports Images)

On Monday, the Cardinals announced their decision to keep Piscotty, optioning first baseman Luke Voit to Triple-A Memphis.

At least part of this move was clear after Piscotty was anything but the 26th man in Williamsport. He started and played the entire Sunday night game in right field, going 2-for-4 and making an outstanding diving catch in St. Louis’ loss.

Voit was essentially the new Matt Adams with a respectable .253/.323/.460/.783 line in his first 43 games as a major leaguer. A first base-only player on an already-short bench seemed a less-than-ideal use of a roster spot. Unlike Adams, Voit can return to Triple-A – until likely returning in September when rosters expand as a pinch-hitter.

The question ahead is how playing time will be doled out among the five outfielders – well, make that four. Jose Martinez will almost certainly be a reserve. Dexter Fowler is set in center and as the clean-up hitter and Tommy Pham has cemented himself as the every-day player in left.

That would seem to leave the scrum in right between Piscotty and Randal Grichuk.  Since both hit right-handed, however, a strict platoon is out of the question. Interestingly, both spent time in the minors this season. Piscotty has an ace up his sleeve in a long-term contract, signed this spring.

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