After a solid start at the plate, Kolten Wong tailed off and his playing time dwindled.
ST. LOUIS — Kolten Wong’s road to becoming an everyday second baseman in the majors has taken a detour.
Wong and fifth outfielder Shane Robinson were sent to Class AAA Memphis on Sunday night. Meanwhile, infielder Greg Garcia and outfielder Randal Grichuk were promoted from Memphis. Garcia and Grichuk, who are expected to be in uniform Monday night, will be suiting up in the major leagues for the first time.
The Cardinals, who have been struggling on offense, hope that the newcomers provide a boost off the bench and that Wong can rediscover his swing playing regularly in Class AAA. After a strong showing in spring training, he entered the season with the everyday job at second and was hitting .280 with a .400 on-base percentage after the first eight games. But he had hit only .196 since April 9 and his playing time dwindled.
Garcia, 24, is expected to back up Mark Ellis at second as well as fill in at shortstop. A teammate of Wong’s at the University of Hawaii, Garcia was hitting .277 with a team-leading five homers in Memphis.
Grichuk, 22, acquired from the Angels last November, was hitting .313 for the Redbirds with a team-best 17 RBIs. The Cardinals opted to call up Grichuk over three other outfielders also off to strong starts in Class AAA: Joey Butler (.431), Stephen Piscotty (.321) and Oscar Taveras (.303).
The little-used Robinson, 29, had two hits in 20 at-bats for the Cardinals. He arrived in St. Louis for the first time in 2009 but still spent part of the past five seasons in Memphis and Springfield. He could take over center field for Grichuk in Memphis unless the club decides to give Taveras an opportunity there. Taveras has played center in two games for the Redbirds so far, spending most of his time in the corner outfield spots.
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