In Springfield on Tuesday night, St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty began his first of two or three games making up his rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield.
Piscotty, 26, has been held out of action since May 4 with a right hamstring injury sustained on St. Louis’ previous homestand. The right-handed hitter is slashing .241/.378/.378 with two home runs and 11 RBI through 78 at-bats this season.
Barring injury, Piscotty is set to play a full nine innings on Tuesday night, rest Wednesday, then play Thursday and Friday. As always, these are tentative plans as his status will be re-assessed daily.
While Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told the media in St. Louis on Tuesday that Piscotty will be activated on Friday, the Cardinals 2012 first round pick said in Springfield at roughly the same time that he will play at Double-A on Friday and come off the DL on Saturday.
Below is a transcript from Piscotty’s presser conducted before Tuesday night’s game. In the media session, he details his rehab plan and the emergence of Magneuris Sierra and Tommy Pham.
Media member - Stephen, how is the hamstring feeling?
Stephen Piscotty - “Feeling good. Been working real hard. I spent the time on the DL, strengthening and loosening it up. Feels really good. Feels good running around.”
MM - Were you able to do cagework during the 10 days or was today pretty much the first time out there?
SP - “I got to do some cagework. Zach Duke was on the DL and was throwing some ‘pen, so I was able to stand in. There was a couple other guys while I was there in St. Louis. Been able to track (pitches). Done some cagework and got to run around the field the other day. Today was my second day running and it felt good.”
MM - Is it easy being away from the team while they’re having success or is it hard to be away from the team?
SP - “You just always want to get back. Win or lose. They’re doing a great job. I know they’re going to continue on. I want to make sure I’m healthy and ready to go and contribute.”
MM - Speaking about that, how bad was it? The 10-day disabled list, how do you like that?
SP - “It was the first time on the DL for me. I don’t have anything to compare it to besides the 7-day. It’s given me enough time. I feel healthy. It’s given me plenty of time.”
MM - Is there a plan in place here in Springfield to get back to St. Louis?
SP - “Roughly, I’m not entirely sure. I know I have at least a few games here. Hopefully, I can get back. Ultimately, it’s up the Cardinals to make the decision.”
MM - What’s the plan? I mean, are you going to play the whole game or play halfway through?
SP - “The plan is to play nine (innings) tonight. Then off tomorrow and hopefully two nines Thursday and Friday.”
MM - What’s it like being back in Springfield? Obviously, you were here earlier for the Rumble. It has been four years since you have been in the lineup for Springfield.
SP - “Excited to be back. It was a really cool event earlier this year to come back. It’s a great place to come and get healthy, get right, and get back into some game action.”
MM - You guys got off to a tough start. Obviously, you knew you had a hole to dig yourselves out of. What did you guys make of some of the panic that was around you?
SP - “I don’t blame others. There’s only so much to evaluate and scrutinize. I think that’s natural in that sort of stuff. Thankfully, the guys in the clubhouse knew that was kind of a blip on the radar. Had that happened say June, no one would really be talking about it.”
MM - What’s your thoughts on the emergence of Sierra and Pham in the absence?
SP - “They stepped in and kind of did what every rookie has done since every year. When guys get called up, they contribute, so it is no surprise. They have done a tremendous job. They are very talented players.”
MM - Their contributions kind of make it difficult to not stick on the big-league roster, right?
SP - “They are doing a great job. Thankfully, as a player you don’t have to worry about those decisions. We’re not the ones making them. All I can really say is they have done a tremendous job. Pham is a special talent. He has been doing it for years. There’s so much potential with Sierra. He’s only 21 years old. Pretty exciting to see.”
MM - Other than getting healthy, is there anything you can take advantage of while you’re rehabbing here?
SP - “I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and getting my rhythm back. I think that’s going to be the biggest thing for me as far as getting back into the swings of things. You go 10 days without seeing a live pitch, sometimes it’s a little different. Often times if things weren’t going great before, it’s also a fresh start.”
MM - Where are you in terms of your swing, having been out the last week and a half?
SP - “I’ve been doing normal cagework since, I think Thursday, since I got back to swinging and it felt good. I’ve been doing my normal cagework for a while.”
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