Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty inked a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension on Monday. One might be inclined to describe the 26-year-old as “lucky,” considering that as long as he’s not frivolous with his earnings, he’s set up financially for life. That isn’t so.
On Tuesday night against the Cubs, Piscotty endured the worst trip around the base paths probably ever. It started with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Piscotty was hit on the right elbow by a Jake Arrieta pitch. He then stole second base, but was hit again — this time on the left elbow — by the throw to second from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. With Piscotty on second, Kolten Wong chopped a 1-2 curve to the right of the pitcher’s mound, just past Arrieta. Second baseman Javier Baez charged at the ball, but couldn’t make the barehanded grab. Piscotty raced towards the plate, so Baez fired home, but hit Piscotty in the ear flap of his helmet. Piscotty was safe — giving the Cardinals their first run of the game — but he laid face-down on the dirt in pain.
Piscotty was tended to by team trainers. He sat up and received a round of applause from the home crowd, as well as from the Cubs’ players. He was helped off the field and will assuredly undergo concussion protocol. Matt Adams pinch-hit for starter Adam Wainwright, then stayed in the game to play left field, with Randal Grichuk moving from left to right and Matt Bowman replacing Wainwright.
More should be known about Piscotty’s status after the game or on Wednesday. (Update, via Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Piscotty has a head contusion and will be reevaluated on Wednesday morning, the Cardinals say.)
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.