The calendar has turned to August, and it appears the dog days of summer have not gotten to St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong.
In fact, his bat has heated up nicely, and that has helped the Cardinals overcome some problems with the pitching staff and stay in the National League Central race.
Wong’s bat was cold to start the year, and as a result it earned the prospect of a trip to Triple-A Memphis to get some things sorted out. Whether it was lingering doubts about his play, especially after the bonehead pickoff maneuver in the 2013 World Series a year ago, or whether his shoulder injury was the true culprit remains to be seen.
What is known now is that Wong has a hotter bat than he did before, and that has helped silence some critics.
Sure, his batting average is only .242. Check the statistics a little closer, however, and the numbers look more promising.
Wong has three multi-hit games this month alone, including four hits in Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles that prevented a sweep by Baltimore.
Wong will never be an explosive hitter along the lines of Matt Holliday and Matt Adams. What he can do is steal bases (17 so far), which adds some speed to a Cardinals squad that could sorely use it.
Wong’s bat won’t be the magic cure-all for what ails the Cardinals. After all, this is a team that just experienced back-to-back bad outings by Justin Masterson and John Lackey, two guys who were supposed to help the Cardinals get better in the starting pitching department. And who knows, they still might help.
Some St. Louis media members have said the same thing I am now. If the Cardinals are going to go anywhere, some of that younger talent is going to have to step up the game. Oscar Taveras got his chance.
It looks like Wong is making the most of his second chance. Let’s hope it continues.