(Busch Stadium) After spending a second consecutive day engaged in baseball activity, second baseman Kolten Wong is eyeing a return this weekend for the St. Louis Cardinals.
“It’s pretty close,” Wong said. “”It’s still there, obviously. I still pulled my hamstring it’s not like I did something small to it. But it’s a lot better than what it was. When I came back, we’ve been here from 9 to about 3 every single day putting in work just doing what I needed to do to get myself ready, if need be, to get ready for this series.”
Out since September 19th, Wong has resumed some batting practice as well as running around the bases, although he estimated being around “70-80%” and the need to take the smart route to be ready for the Cardinals first playoff appearance since 2015.
“I pushed it pretty good today,” Wong said. “I think tomorrow we’ll see how it reacts and it will be a big indication of if I can get out there.”
The news is not as favorable for a quick return of pitcher Michael Wacha.
“He does have a shoulder strain,” Girsch shared. “He’s going to be no-throw for a few days more. Probably into the middle of next week or so and then we’ll see where it goes for him.”
That could make it difficult for Wacha to be on the Cardinals initial post-season roster.
“It’s awfully early to talk about our playoff roster,” Girsch said. “I think it’s unlikely he’s going to be ready to go for that. But we’ll see how he feels.”
–As announced yesterday, the Cardinals changed their starting rotation for the weekend–moving Adam Wainwright up to Saturday and leaving Sunday to be announced.
“Dakota was going this game anyway, he’s got an extra day of rest,” Shildt began. “And then Waino’s Waino. It’s really more about Adam–the way he’s been pitching, the way he’s pitched in games of these situations. It’s not a slight against Miles in the least, more of an opportunity for Adam.”
Asked if the decision of Sunday’s pitcher was between Jack Flaherty and Mikolas, Shildt answered that was “reasonable”. He also acknowledged that if his team were to clinch things earlier an altogether pitcher could take the mound.
“We’ll get through today and continue to evaluate, but there is that scenario,” Shildt said.
With a magic number of three, the Cardinals are seeking their first National League Central title since 2015 and enter the weekend with a 1.0 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.
photo credit: STLBaseballWeekly.com