(Busch Stadium) Literally, his hands could not stop shaking from excitement as Luke Voit answered questions in front of his locker in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for since I was little kid,” gushed Voit. “Growing up, being a Cardinals fan, coming to Busch every year. I’ve been shaking since last night. It’s a great feeling.”
A graduate of Lafayette High School, Voit had his contract purchased today by the Cardinals in a series of roster moves.
“Mom and dad, girlfriend, my brother–so cool,” said Voit of the phone calls he made when he got the news last night. “A lot of crying, a lot of happy thoughts, it’s been super exciting.”
This season at Memphis, Voit has hit .322 with 12 home runs, 48 RBIs, and a .967 OPS.
With those kinds of numbers, he thought he was getting the call up a couple of nights ago when Memphis manager Stubby Clapp wanted to speak with him.
“He just kind of pulled me aside when no one was looking, but it was about a base running error I made,” shared Voit. “Then he calls me in again, kind of made a funny joke about it and then boom, said just kidding. You’re going to The Show.”
Growing up, Voit was a fan of Mark McGwire.
“He was my guy,” said Voit. “Copied his stance when I was little. Same little twirl he had at the plate. Hitting moonshots–that’s what you wanted to do as a little kid. So when I was in the backyard, that was my guy playing wiffleball.”
After graduating from Lafayette, Voit took his game to Missouri State University–where among his teammates was Tate Matheny.
“Happy for him,” smiled Mike Matheny, who also developed a relationship with the former catcher. “One of those players that wasn’t a high pick, just kind of kept earning it every step along the way. Impressive to watch.”
With Voit being only a first baseman–or perhaps emergency catcher, does this raise the possibility of Matt Carpenter moving to another spot?
“The question is where would you move Matt?,” answered John Mozeliak. “So that would be something that I think we would consider, but we don’t know exactly where. We are expecting Kolten Wong to rejoin the club possibly as early as next weekend, thus the way I think Voit is–in the short term, to a) give Matt Carpenter a day from time and b) also just to see how he reacts to Major League pitching.
“Clearly, when you look at his career path, he’s always been one of those types of hitters, that everywhere he’s been he ends up having success. So we felt like he deserved a right to come up here and see what he could do.”
Ironically, tonight Voit will share the field with another hometown kid–David Freese will bat cleanup for Pittsburgh.
“It’s going to be cool seeing him again,” said Voit, who like Freese and Ryan Howard played for the St. Louis Redbirds in his youth. “I haven’t seen him in a couple years. I’m excited to reconnect with him.”
photo credit: Brian Stull-STLBaseballWeekly.com; Guillermo Hernandez Martinez/News-Leader
— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) June 25, 2017