Stephen Piscotty’s not concerned about his left ankle injury even though the discomfort was significant enough to keep him out of the St. Louis Cardinals lineup Thursday.
Piscotty, batting .288 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 73 games, on Wednesday fouled a ball off the ankle in the sixth inning of a 3-2 loss in 12 innings to Kansas City.
As if that wasn’t painful enough, the right fielder dived for a ball near the line in the 12th inning. It landed fair and caromed off the same ankle, causing swelling and discoloration.
“I’m walking OK right now, so it’s nothing serious,” Piscotty said Thursday before the series finale against the Royals. “We’re playing it day by day right now. I’m not starting, but I assume I will be available.”
Piscotty was replaced in right field by Brandon Moss. Two other Cardinals regulars, catcher Yadier Molina and shortstop Aledmys Diaz, also were out of the lineup. Molina was given the day off after catching all 12 innings Wednesday; Diaz still has swelling in his right eye after fouling a ball off the ground and into his face Monday in Kansas City.
Moss hit a 477-foot home run in a 4-2 loss to the Royals.
It’s a bad bruise. When you get hit in the same spot, it’s just going to feel terrible and it’s going to swell. That’s just the way it is.
St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Piscotty and Diaz would be available to pinch-hit.
Piscotty and the Cardinals were confident Wednesday that Piscotty had avoided a major injury. An MRI on the ankle after the game was negative, but Piscotty was hobbling badly.
The limp was considerably less noticeable Thursday.
“It’s a bad bruise,” Piscotty said. “When you get hit in the same spot, it’s just going to feel terrible and it’s going to swell. That’s just the way it is.”
Matheny said Piscotty, even without the injury, was due for a breather.
“He’s been pushing pretty hard all season long,” Matheny said. “For a young player, he’s kind of falling into that everyday-style player. When you see a guy get a little banged up and know that he’s pushing, usually it’s time to start helping him out and giving him a day.”
He’s been pushing pretty hard all season long. For a young player, he’s kind of falling into that everyday-style player. When you see a guy get a little banged up and know that he’s pushing, usually it’s time to start helping him out and giving him a day.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on right fielder Stephen Piscotty
The Cardinals won’t rush Piscotty back into action on a full-time basis. They have a three-game series this weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers, then begin a four-game series Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I’m not really sure,” Piscotty said of when he’ll again be playable for a full game. “I’ve been here since 1 (p.m.) doing treatment and I’ve still got a bunch more to get through. It’s hard for me to say right now. It’s definitely better right now, no doubt. It’s not worse. I’m very pleased where I’m at right now.”
It was Piscotty’s bases-empty home run in the 10th that extended the game.
“It was eventful,” Piscotty said of the evening. “But it was eventful in a losing effort. Obviously, we wanted to get that game. There’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ve got to take care of business (Thursday) and tie this series up.”