ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Stephen Piscotty is back with the Cardinals after stepping away from the team last Friday.
He told reporters Wednesday he left the team to be with his mother, who was diagnosed with ALS last week.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a degenerative disease that attacks the body’s nerves and muscles. Sufferers gradually lose control of their motor functions, making day-to-day life harder to manage. The average lifespan of a patient diagnosed with ALS is less than five years.
Piscotty and his siblings gathered in California to support her following the diagnosis, and he rejoined the team before Wednesday’s night game against the Dodgers, in which he will play right field and hit sixth.
Manager Mike Matheny wholeheartedly supported Piscotty’s decision, saying players need to keep the game in perspective when it comes to family matters.
“They need that support, and part of that support is that comfort that it’s alright to go. This is life. This is tough stuff. Go home. That’s the right place for you to be,” he said. “Our world revolves around winning for nine months out of the year and we tend to lose sight – or at least compartmentalize and put stuff off to the side or on the backburner. That’s how most of the guys are wired. But when something like this comes up, that can’t happen. You’ve got to go deal with the tough stuff.”
Piscotty told media members his mom insisted they watch the Cardinals games together when he was home, and is looking forward to her being able to watch him play.
Gyorko welcomes first daughter
Jedd Gyorko is also returns to the Cardinals lineup Wednesday after his abrupt departure before Tuesday’s game due to the birth of his third child and first daughter.
“Any time you have a child, it’s special,” Gyorko said. “To welcome her into the world was a lot of fun. It’s an exciting time.”
Gyorko said Wednesday afternoon that baby Brooklyn and wife Karley were both doing well.
“She’s a cute baby, so she’s definitely taking after her mom.”
The Cardinals’ plan is for Gyorko to be with the team for Wednesday and Thursday’s games before taking a paternity leave. He will miss games Friday and Saturday in Chicago, before rejoining the club there for Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs.
With the team playing at home for the next couple days, Gyorko can be strategic about the time he misses. The rule allows 48 hours for the team to make a move, so rather than miss home games and head out on the road so quickly, Gyorko will be able stay in town with his family a couple extra days.
Gyorko was glad the rules allow for him to take the extra days to spend with his wife and daughter at this special time in their lives
“If I wasn’t allowed to, I would miss it anyway, because family’s always first,” Gyorko said.
John Mozeliak said pregame he had not talked to Mike Matheny about plans for Gyorko’s roster spot for Friday and Saturday, but told the media he had “a pretty good idea” of what the Cardinals would do with it.
One likely possibility for a recall would be outfielder Magneuris Sierra. The 21-year-old speedster hit .367 with a .406 on-base percentage during his stint with the big-league Cardinals early this month. For a brief time Tuesday night, Sierra was actually on his way to St. Louis before the Cardinals decided to wait until the weekend to place Gyorko on the paternity list, and would make a sensible addition for the weekend considering the Cardinals current infield depth.