The loss of Matt Adams, who was suddenly showing signs of life at the plate, is a blow for the St. Louis Cardinals.
But the bright side is that the ability to put Adams on the disabled list will create room for the return of Jon Jay to the lineup while helping to find playing time for red hot slugger Randal Grichuk.
Adams’ absence will create playing time for Mark Reynolds at first place, taking him out of the outfield rotation where he’s performed surprisingly well.
Adams, with three hits in his last eight at-bats including two doubles and two RBIs, appeared to strain a quad as he ran the bases Tuesday against Arizona. It hasn’t been determined yet how long he will be out. But a trip to the disabled list is likely.
Reynolds, the primary back-up at first base, has been getting much of his playing time in the outfield corners this season. He’s batting .250 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 96 at-bats.
But outfield playing time became scarce when Grichuk returned May 16 from a back injury. Grichuk is batting .333 with three doubles, two triples and a home run over the past week.
Now Jay will return to the lineup Friday after completing a rehab assignment.
No one is going to cut into Matt Holliday’s playing time as the slugging left fielder is hitting .322 for the season with three homers and 24 RBIs. That leaves Grichuk, Jay, Peter Bourjos and Jason Heyward to split center and right fields.
Jay was batting .248 when he aggravated a wrist injury that has troubled him since spring training. Bourjos is hitting .263 and has failed to exploit his speed, stealing four bases in eight tries. Heyward, an expensive off-season acquisition, is hitting only .233 with four homers and 13 RBIs.
It’s going to be rough to get everyone going with limited playing time. But the Cardinals need to find a way if they’re going to score enough runs to keep winning games.