(Busch Stadium) For the last few weeks, St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt has fielded a variety of questions about his starting lineup with one of the more popular topics being Kolten Wong batting higher in the lineup. Today the second baseman has been moved up to second in the order.
“He’s clearly earned the opportunity to get advancement up in the lineup,” Shildt said. “He’s done a great job of lengthening the lineup and turning it over for the other guys as well. He’s done a great job in that regard. The opportunity presented itself–because Tommy (Edman) has done a nice job of that as well, so giving Tommy a day and just created an opportunity for Kolten to move up and looking forward to seeing what it looks like.”
Since the All-Star break, Wong ranks among the National League leaders in OBP (.438-4th) and batting average (.356-8th).
“For me, I don’t look at it as I’m batting second for the rest of the year,” Wong said. “It’s kind of like a lineup switch-up just because maybe they’re trying to give Tommy a break. I’m not sure. I’m not coming into it expecting to be the second hole hitter for the rest of the year. I’m going to continue to play the game how I know how to play it, how I’ve been approaching this whole second half and see if this can help. Obviously, I’m going to get into situations where I want to bunt Dex over or I’m going to want to take a pitch, different things where being a second-hole hitter you have to understand but one thing playing in this league for a while is I understand how to kind of take my approach into every position.”
Last night, Wong stole his 17th base of the season and is looking forward to perhaps having more opportunity hitting second.
“I think it’s just a matter of how the pitcher’s going, it’s going to dictate how we run,” Wong said. “If the pitcher’s really good, we’re probably going to be a little more aggressive on the bases to get into scoring position, where if everyone’s taking good at-bats it’s going to change that. Obviously, I’m going to be constantly looking to run. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and being higher up in the lineup is going to allow that aggression to come out–being able to take second and third in the same inning.”
“Whatever he wants to do, if he thinks he can get to the next base then that’s great,” smiled Paul Goldschmidt, who was unfazed by the possibility. “I just hit and he does his thing.”
RF Dexter Fowler
2B Kolten Wong
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
SS Paul DeJong
C Yadier Molina
3B Matt Carpenter
CF Harrison Bader
P Adam Wainwright
— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) August 21, 2019
photo credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports