Heading into the 2014 season, there were extremely high hopes for St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, but after less than a month as the team’s starter, he has been demoted to triple-A Memphis.
#STLCards recall rookies Greg Garcia & Randal Grichuk from Memphis (AAA); option OF Shane Robinson & IF Kolten Wong to Memphis.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 28, 2014
The 23-year-old Wong was rated as the #91 prospect in all of baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law just prior to the 2014 season, but despite his long track record of success at the plate, his bat is the likely reason he has been demoted. In 20 games, Wong has put together a sub-optimal slash line of .225/.276/.268, and with his average (at best) defense for the position and a multitude of other options, the Cardinals apparently ran out of patience.
In Wong’s stead, St. Louis is primed to turn the second base duties over to Mark Ellis full-time, and frankly, it’s probably not a downgrade at this stage. The 36-year-old Ellis is past his prime, but he is a plus defender at the position with a career OPS over .700, and old school managers like Mike Matheny latch on to stability.
It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see Wong reclaim the job in the near future, but until then, the Cardinals will keep chugging along.