(BaseballStL) - There might not be another player on the entire Cardinals roster who has been as red hot and as ice cold – then back and forth – as Kolten Wong. To start spring training he was so lost at the plate Mike Matheny had to have a chat with him about calming down.
A week later he was arguably the best hitter in camp.
Then the regular season started and Wong appeared to carry over that momentum. As of April 13 the starting second baseman was hitting a modest .279 with a .354 on-base percentage in the midst of a six-game hitting streak.
Unfortunately as fast as his hitting began, it ended. Wong’s average plummeted to .225 on April 27and that earned him a demotion to AAA.
Upon his return Wong seemed to heat up. He hit .333 in May with four doubles and seven runs scored. The gap-to-gap power the Cards had hoped to see from him was back. Things were good again.
Then June hit. And with it, Wong’s hitting. Through Thursday’s games he had just four hits for the entire month. Think about that. Just four hits all month long. Two of them were pretty big. A triple and a home run.
But beyond that there’s been a lot of nothing. Mike Matheny has dropped him all the way to 8th in the order with the hot hitting Jon Jay moving up to the second spot previously occupied by Wong.
Look – there are an awful lot of culprits on this Redbirds offense. Jhonny Peralta’s hitting just .235. Matt Holliday has but five home runs. Allen Craig’s OPS is .684 (almost a hundred points less than Jon Jay). Matt Carpenter’s not even hitting as well as he knows he can.
Heck, Oscar Taveras couldn’t even do much aside from a dramatic home run in his big league debut.
So don’t think for a second that this is all Wong’s fault. It’s a collective problem the fact the Cardinals just have not hit much all season long. To blame one single person is extremely short sighted.
But make no mistake about it. At times Kolten Wong’s been part of the solution. Right now, though? He’s part of the problem.