Wong Is Right
After enduring an excruciating, three game cage match against the Pirates, the weary-but-defiant Cardinals head to Chicago to face the Cubs once again. The team will receive a much-needed energy boost there, as minor league infield phenom Kolten Wong has been called up to reinvigorate a floundering offense.
The second baseman had an eye-opening 2013 campaign in Memphis, posting a .303 batting average with 10 home runs, 23 doubles, 8 triples, and 20 stolen bases. He can hit, run, and, in the opinion of most experts, handle defense.
With Oscar Taveras shelved due to ankle surgery, Wong represents the last, best hope for a late-season shot of adrenaline from the farm system. Can Wong’s energy and enthusiasm recharge the draining batteries of this worn-out team much like Yasiel Puig has done in Los Angeles? While it’s doubtful that Wong can have that kind of impact — Puig is a Pujols-like force of nature — Wong’s punchy bat and decent speed should give the team some better lineup options.
The more intriguing question surrounding Wong’s promotion involves the corresponding roster move. Preliminary reports have Adron Chambers going back to Memphis. That’s a bit disappointing given Chambers’ heroics two nights ago and his generally-enthusiastic demeanor. However, Shane Robinson’s return to the club makes the team outfield-heavy. I’d personally prefer to see Mozeliak make a tougher surgical procedure on the middle infield. I’m sure the Kozma-haters among us agree with that. However, that might be a bit risky with a team so close to controlling this division.
Anyone who has watched this team closely in recent weeks understands that this talented club has an infield problem. Aside from Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter, the infield has been spotty defensively and sluggish offensively. By calling up Wong, John Mozeliak sets in motion an overhaul on the infield that has been sorely needed for some time without drastically altering the chemistry of the team. It’s the right move at the right time.
Hopefully Wong can fulfill his tremendous promise and, like Kozma last year, propel this team into another postseason berth.