The Cardinals will have their starting second baseman and one of their most highly-regarded relievers back as the second half begins.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Thursday that they’ve activated second baseman Kolten Wong and lefthanded reliever Kevin Siegrist from the 10-day disabled list. Infielder Alex Mejia and righthanded pitcher Luke Weaver were optioned to Triple-A Memphis as the All-Star break began to create room for the two returning players.
The Cardinals have been without Wong (right tricep strain) since June 14 and Siegrist (cervical spine strain) since June 22. In the meantime, the Cardinals have found stability with Matt Carpenter moving to second base and rookie Luke Voit filling the void at first, posting a .316/.366/.684 slash line with three homers in his first 41 MLB plate appearances. In the absence of Siegrist, offseason free-agent signing Brett Cecil has finally found his groove as the Cardinals’ top lefty reliever and is unscored upon in his last 14 outings.
Because of his defensive superiority over Carpenter, Wong is likely to get most of the starts at second with Voit going to the bench. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch suggested on 101 ESPN earlier this week that the righthanded-hitting Voit will start against lefthanded pitchers, with Carpenter going back to second and the lefthanded-hitting Wong going to the bench. With the way that Mike Matheny historically has lost confidence in Wong after short stretches of bad play, it seems very possible that Wong could find himself on the bench more often than not if he comes out of the gates slowly this time around.
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Siegrist, meanwhile, will likely get more low-leverage outings than he’s used to having. He has a 4.94 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP this season, and while those struggles may be due to the health issues he’s dealt with, he’ll face an uphill battle to regain his status as one of the Cardinals’ late-inning options.
The 23-year-old Weaver positioned himself well for another call-up this year, going unscored upon in three innings over two games. He’ll likely be the first pitcher the Cardinals turn to if they have an injury in the starting rotation or end up trading Lance Lynn at the deadline.
It was a surprise to see the 26-year-old Mejia called up in the first place, and he didn’t exactly distinguish himself at the plate, going 3-for-14 with no walks and one homer.
That one homer was a memorable one, as he helped propel the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory on July 1, collecting two of the Cardinals’ four hits. Mejia will likely be behind Aledmys Díaz on the Cardinals’ infield depth chart if they need reinforcements, but perhaps he’ll make his way back to St. Louis as a September call-up.