Things are getting awkward at second base.
Just last week Derrick Goold had a nice fluff piece on Kolten Wong’s choice to live in St. Louis this off-season instead of going home to his native Hawaii:
“We wanted to engulf ourselves in St. Louis,” Wong said this past week, as he prepared for the holidays at his new house. “We really, really wanted to see what St. Louis is like, enjoy our first home, get to know what St. Louis is all about in a way that didn’t mean going to the ballpark. I really wanted to find a place to call home, something more than, ‘This is just where I’m playing.’ I wanted to be a part of a place.
There was even an anecdote about how the Wong’s bought not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 winter coats to prepare for the brutal Midwest climate during December and January.
People. Ate. This. Up.
I'm impressed. That's commitment.
— Steve Coleman ⚾️🏒⛳️ (@SColemanLU) December 24, 2016
Kolten Wong didn’t have a spectacular 2016. After signing a nice contract before the season, his production fell precipitously.
- 613 plate appearances
- 146 hits
- 215 total bases
- 0.9 dWAR
- 361 plate appearances
- 75 hits
- 111 total bases
- 0.6 dWAR
And even though he was the same try-hard that Coach Mike Matheny loooooves, he somehow fell out of favor, getting only 71 starts at second base (10 starts in the OF) during the 2016 season.
Blip on the radar, though. Right?
After all, the Cardinals had committed 25+M to a player that was 3rd in ‘Rookie of the Year’ balloting in 2014 and is still only 26 years old.
With Wong “committing” to St. Louis, you’d have every right to believe that the Cardinals were giving the wink/wink to all of us that we’d be seeing Peralta, Diaz, Wong and Carpenter from left to right in the infield across your radio dial with Jed Gyorko playing the super-sub role.
Dozier update: told LAD still very much in it. Here's the new wrinkle: STL very much in it, + Nats & Giants remain in dialogue. #MNTwins
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 26, 2016
Jut in case you’re not familiar with the Twins – they’re a baseball team still playing games in Minnesota and Brian Dozier is their second baseman.
MLB Trade Rumors seems to think that this is more than just talk for the sake of something to talk about.
Time will tell if the Cards decide to add Dozier to the fold (FWIW, the dude did hit 42 HRs last season and posted a 7 WAR).
But the one thing that is starting to become clear is that the team isn’t 100% sold (at least as of now) that Kolten Wong is the future at second base.
Like I said, things are getting awkward.
Photo: Twins Daily