When the St. Louis Cardinals placed Jedd Gyorko on the disabled list this past Sunday, they explained the decision to recall first baseman Luke Voit would include Matt Carpenter moving across the infield to third base to include both bats in the lineup. Tonight is the first of those such occasions as Carpenter will lead-off and play third while Voit is at first base and hitting seventh.
“We’ll probably mix and match Voit at first and Carp at third, some Greg Garcia at third, it’ll be a little of a mix and match,” explained GM Michael Girsch after the move.
In 88 at-bats for the Cardinals this season, Voit has hit three home runs with 13 runs driven in. At Memphis, he had another 13 “bombs” and 50 RBIs with a .972 OPS in 74 games. Though he fits the profile of the “big bat” St. Louis has been searching for to add to the middle of their lineup, the recent success of Dexter Fowler at cleanup will move Voit elsewhere.
“We’re not messing with Dex right now,” stated Mike Matheny. “He’s fine. Didn’t necessarily bring Voit in to be a clean-up hitter. He’s just a guy who’s going to jump in and see where he fits in the lineup without any preconceived spot designated.”
For his part, Voit was just happy to return to the big leagues, although disappointed it was at the expense of Gyorko being hurt.
“Obviously, you don’t want to see something like that but just glad to be back and get things rolling again,” said Voit, who exchanged a bear hug with Gyorko upon his return. “It was nice to kind of get some at-bats, see some pitches. I feel like I got my timing back.”
Voit is just one of the many Redbirds to enjoy success at Memphis this season–part of the reason the team has reeled off a franchise record of 87 wins and counting.
“You can tell, they just out there everyday and it’s like they just know they’re going to win,” said Voit. “Stubby’s done a great job and so has Budda, Gerdy. Hats off to them. I think they definitely have a chance to win it all.”
Earlier this afternoon, Memphis manager Stubby Clapp was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year–the first skipper in franchise history to be awarded the honor.
photo credit: Charles LeClaire, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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