(BaseballStL) — Shane Robinson will get another turn in the outfield after a strong showing Thursday.
The move will leave prospect Oscar Taveras on the bench for the second straight day, but manager Mike Matheny said rewarding role players who excel is just as important as getting young players work.
“Shane was a difference maker in that game last night and I think to be able to honor the fact he was able to stay sharp enough to do something like that and to get him in there against a tough righty I think is a great reward,” he said.
Robinson has been up and down may times throughout his career with the Cardinals, often the piece moved when the club maneuvers.
“It’s never fun bringing the guys into the office when you know you’ve got to make room, or try to make something happen and it’s the odd man out- and it keeps being the same odd man that gets out,” Matheny said.
“He’s one of those players that I don’t think people realize how talented he is. You saw the arm last night, you saw the speed, the jumps, the instincts. And he can hit,” Matheny said. Cardinal fans have seen it off and on, we just haven’t been able to get him in there on a consistent basis.
The diminutive outfielder arguably won the game with his defense Thursday, tracking down two balls in the gap to take away big hits and throwing out what would have been the tying run at the plate in the ninth.
“You look at last night’s game, I’m not sure the result is the same if Shane isn’t out there,” Matheny added. “That catch he made in right center was one of the best catches we’ve seen this year.”
While much has been made of Taveras’ bat (despite him hitting just .206), most observers agree his defense is far from elite. It’s hard not to agree with the Cardinal manager when looking at replays, as Robinson’s speed shrinks the landing zone for balls in right field considerably.
1) Matt Carpenter 3B
2) Kolten Wong 2B
3) Matt Holliday LF
4) Matt Adams 1B
5) Jhonny Peralta SS
6) A.J. Pierzynski C
7) Jon Jay CF
8) Shane Robinson RF
9) Lance Lynn P