Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Images

Now with an introduction to center field, Kolten Wong is back with St. Louis, replacing April phenom Jeremy Hazelbaker

Now with an introduction to center field, Kolten Wong is back with St. Louis, replacing April phenom Jeremy Hazelbaker.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have recalled second baseman Kolten Wong from Memphis (AAA) and that outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker has been optioned to the triple-A club.

Wong, who was optioned to Memphis following the Cardinals game on June 5, hit safely in all seven of his games with the Redbirds, batting .429 (12-for-28) with 4 HR’s and 11 RBI.   He hit a pair of homers in his first game with the Redbirds (June 9 vs. Colorado Springs), including a game-winning grand slam, and he also hit a pair of homers with 4 RBI on June 14 at Nashville.

Wong started in centerfield for the Redbirds in three games (28.0 innings) where he handled four chances and recorded an outfield assist.  Wong, 25, was batting .222 (28-for-126) with one home run and 5 RBI in 49 games with St. Louis this season.

Hazelbaker, a rookie, was batting .250 (31-for-124) with 7 HR’s and 19 RBI in 61 games.  He has hit three pinch-hit home runs, and was leading the team with four stolen bases.

Brian Walton’s take

Given St. Louis’ league-worst offense from center field this season, I understand why these moves were made. However, for the long haul, I wish Wong had been given more than seven games in Triple-A to fully get his game in order, both offensively and defensively.

I wrote about this subject in depth at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

It had been clear for a long time that Hazelbaker’s April honeymoon was over. Over the last six weeks, since May 1, his line is .180/.206/.279/.485.

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