The Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-4 tonight to stay within 4 1/2 games of the Braves in the Wild Card race, but they may have lost one of their big bats in the process.
According to Matthew Leach of MLB.com, Matt Holliday left tonight’s game with an injury to his right hand. Holliday went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before Corey Patterson hit for him in the top of the ninth inning.
“I did something to my hand taking a swing,” said Holliday. “It’s a ligament or a tendon problem. I was just swinging a bat and I couldn’t swing it anymore.”
The full extent of the injury isn’t yet clear, but Holliday doesn’t believe he suffered a broken bone. He is expected to be reevaluated tomorrow morning.
Holliday, 31, is batting .295/.388/.528 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI and a .915 OPS over 503 plate appearances this season.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.