For several seasons, we’ve been waiting on the edge of our collective seats for Kolten Wong to finally step up and be that second baseman we’ve been hoping he would be for the Cardinals.
When he signed the five-year $25 million deal last season, this was the club’s way of showing they want him to be this guy.
Instead we have gotten a terribly inconsistent hitter and a defender who has had moments of greatness and moments of falling flat on his face in the outfield. It got so bad, they even sent him to Memphis to get some work in.
Despite all of that, we were told this offseason that defense up the middle was a priority, and that Wong was going to be there guy.
Was there something we Cardinal fans weren’t aware of? Did Wong drink some sort of special potion that instantly made management think this way?
After several weeks of the same result in Spring, manager Mike Matheny said they would run a platoon at second base and Wong would be part of this platoon.
Kolten was not happy about this, at all.
In a story from Ben Frederickson of the STL Post-Dispatch, Wong said:
I just got mad at the fact, thinking, I’m over here trying to work on things, trying to get myself better. Not trying to go out here and have an amazing spring training. I’m trying to go out there and have an amazing season. To hear that (he might be platooned) was something that hit me out of left field. I didn’t mean it in a bad way. I didn’t mean it for me to come off seeming like I wanted to be traded or wanted to get out of this organization. I love playing for the Cardinals. If that wasn’t the reason, then I never would have signed that extension. I wanted to be here for the long term. I still want to. Right now, I’m going through a rough stretch, trying to figure out my stuff. Eventually it will turn around.
Hey Kolten? Prove it!
I don’t want to give Manager Mike any credit, but maybe he is showing you some tough love so you will actually step up and be the player we have all hoped.
Instead of moping around and pouting, turn that rough patch around and focus … get timely hits and play better defense. Stop trying so hard. Have fun out there. Prove that you are capable of being an everyday player.
And Manager Mike. Play Kolten. If management signs this guy to a big deal, that means THEY want him in this situation for the team. So. Play the guy. Let him get some time to work on stuff.
It’s proven that consistently playing and working on stuff, will actually make you improve.
So. Allow Kolten the time to play. Let him get some time at second base. Let him get some time at bat. Let him prove that he can turn it around.
If he can not prove himself, the experiment of Kolten Wong can end. If he gets consistent time and still can not prove to Mike that he deserves to play everyday, it will be time for him to pay elsewhere.
Kolten’s little outburst Sunday could be a good thing. It could force the team to take a look at this player they have had so much hope in. For Kolten this little outburst means it is time for him to put up or shut up.