Ellis biggest offensive factor in rare start at first

Ellis biggest offensive factor in rare start at first

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Mark Ellis #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals breaks his bat wile batting against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on May 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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by Elizabeth Eisele / BaseballStL | @elizabetheisele

KMOV.com

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 5:40 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 13 at 5:41 AM

(BaseballStL) -- When Tuesday's line-up was announced, a collective 'Huh?' rippled through the area. Mike Matheny opted to sit his number four hitter in favor of his second base back-up, Mark Ellis.

Matheny chose to rest first baseman Matt Adams while plugging in Ellis at first base. With Allen Craig's departure and Yadier Molina's stay on the DL, Matheny didn't have many options.

In his 1393 games as a fielder, Ellis has played first base seven times and added his eighth Tuesday night against the Marlins. However, what was more puzzling about the Ellis move was the affect his bat would have on a struggling Cardinals' offense.

Matheny traded Adams, hitting .304 with 50 RBI, with Ellis, who is hitting just above his weight of 190 pounds with .196 average. But Ellis ended up accounting for half of the Redbirds' hits, less impressive when the Cards only managed four hits total Tuesday night. Nonetheless, Matheny praised Ellis' contributions in the field and at the plate.

"He stepped in and had a good day," he said, "He made a nice play over there [and] a couple of picks. He just made the most of his day. It's great to see for him."

Realistically, Adams could benefit from his night of rest, having gone just 5 for 29 and only 3 RBI in the last 7 days. Adams did pinch hit for the Cardinals in the ninth inning, but he struck out in a four pitch at-bat to end the game.

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