Wong will start for Cardinals in NLDS Game 1

Kolten Wong brings Gold Glove-caliber defense and a solid bat to the St. Louis lineup.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Kolten Wong‘s hamstring won’t keep him out of the lineup when the St. Louis Cardinals open the NL Division Series at Atlanta on Thursday.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Wong, who has been out since Sept. 19 with a strained hamstring, will start against the Braves.

Wong’s return restores his Gold Glove-caliber defense to second base, which had been manned quite ably while he was out by rookie Tommy Edman. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Edman will return to third base. He could move to right field, pushing Dexter Fowler to center and Harrison Bader to the bench and allowing Matt Carpenter, who has been hitting well of late, to stay at third.

Wong was perhaps the Cardinals’ most consistent hitter in the weeks prior to his injury. He has a .285 batting average, tops among Cardinals qualifiers for the batting title.

Wong told Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest on Wednesday that he feels good. “I’m game ready,” he said.