Matt Holliday has played 1,635 games in his career. 1,593 of them have come in the outfield, 22 of them at DH and the rest in various pinch-hitting or pinch-running capacities. Never has he played an inning at first base.
But . . .
Matt Adams’ season ended with a quad tear. Mark Reynolds is getting the playing time at first. He’s also not doing the one thing Mark Reynolds tends to do well, and that’s slug.
Could this be a move to maximize the playing time of Holliday, Jon Jay, Jason Heyward, Peter Bourjos, and Randal Grichuk while keeping Holliday in the lineup as well? Or is he just, you know, stretching his legs? Over at Viva El Birdos recently, Ben Humphrey assessed whether or not it was worth risking shifting Holliday and his presumably bad defense over to first for this kind of tradeoff.
Center fielder Jon Jay is slated to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Cardinals on Friday, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Jay has been out since May 10 with a wrist injury and hit poorly before going on the DL, so it’s unclear what type of role he’ll have upon returning.
Peter Bourjos has played well as the Cardinals’ primary center fielder and there’s already a bit of an outfield logjam with rookie Randal Grichuk trying to wrestle playing time away from Bourjos and fellow veterans Matt Holliday and Jason Heyward.
It would sure make things a lot easier if one of the outfielders was willing to and/or capable of playing first base in the absence of Matt Adams, but for now at least that’s Mark Reynolds’ job.
An update on Matt Adams from KMOX, the Cardinals’ flagship radio station …
Adams tore his right quadriceps muscle Tuesday while legging out a double. Mark Reynolds is playing first base for the Cardinals in Wednesday night’s series finale against the Diamondbacks and will be the primary starter there for the foreseeable future. St. Louis could always make a trade if that’s not working out.
Adams was batting just .243/.281/.375 through 43 games this season, but the 26-year-old registered an .800 OPS (119 OPS+) in 250 games between 2013-2014. And he’s especially lethal against right-handed pitching.
St. Louis also lost Adam Wainwright (heel) for the season in late April, and yet the club entered play Wednesday with the best record (30-16) and run differential (+58) in all of Major League Baseball.