While it might have been his single to drive in Aledmys Diaz or his triple a couple of innings later, it was really the defense of Stephen Piscotty that stood out on Tuesday night.
The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder showed off his arm by nailing Andrew McCutchen at home in the 3rd inning. According to the Fox Tracker, Piscotty’s throw traveled 212.7 feet at a speed of 94.8 miles per hour.
“Really just fine tuning the right field position is kind of on the forefront of mind,” shared Piscotty earlier in Spring Training. Besides making some adjustments to have his arm better prepared for both right field and first base, Stephen also focused a great deal of his off-season on training to have a better first step.
“It was all about quick acceleration,” he explained. “I can run fast when I get up to speed, but by the time you get up to speed either you caught the ball or it’s by you or whatever so I want to get to my top speed quicker.”
“That’s definitely something that I’m hoping to improve upon,” Piscotty continued. “You can make all the diving plays and whatnot, but in reality if you get there a little bit sooner you don’t have to make that diving play. I just want to extend that range I have in the outfield.”
Besides the play to nab McCutchen at home, Piscotty also made a nice play going back to the wall in right. Does this first step training allow for him to play a deeper or more shallow outfield?
“It will totally be dependent on the situation,” he answered. “That’s one thing I’ve learned with outfield–just because you’re super-fast doesn’t mean you can stay back. It’s just all based on the situation. Late in the game, a guy on second you’re going to play in and you need to be able to react back but if you’re up a bunch of runs you’re gonna play back and need to react in. So, it won’t affect positioning but just overall range in general.”
photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports