The St. Louis Cardinals have another flashy young player helping them down the stretch: Outfielder Stephen Piscotty.
Having made his debut with the Cards on July 21, Piscotty is now an indispensable part of the team's offense. The 24-year-old drove in four runs in the Cardinals' 7-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night, further asserting his role as a crucial cog in Mike Matheny's lineup.
MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch notes that Piscotty has eight go-ahead RBIs this season, good for second on the club since his July 21 debut. He also has seven game-winning RBIs as he's demonstrated a knack for the 'clutch' hit.
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As he told Langosch, he really enjoys coming up with the game on the line: "I love it. I love it, especially at this level. Going back to college [at Stanford University], I remember we were fighting to win a national championship and there were some cool moments. Once you get a little taste of that, that's what you're playing for. You're not playing for your numbers or your stats or anything. You're playing for those moments."
So far, those moments are making it increasingly unlikely he'll wind up back on the bench anytime soon, even with Matt Holliday progressing...although Matheny wouldn't go so far as to say Piscotty has locked down an everyday spot (yet): "[We're] just not getting too far ahead," he told Langosch. "We're a club. We're a team. Guys are going to have different roles throughout the season, and it could be the same thing going forward. It's just what gives us our best chance for this individual game."
Diplomacy and not 'tipping your hand' aside, Matheny has a fortuitous 'problem' on his hands with having to find a spot for the hot-hitting rookie as he considers options for the postseason roster.