Stephen Piscotty began his road back to St. Louis Tuesday night with a rehab assignment at AA Springfield. Piscotty had a day off to rest yesterday, and is expected to play tonight and Friday night before being activated. Let’s examine the takeaways from Piscotty’s opening night in Springfield. He hit third for the baby birds and played the entire game in right field.
First Plate Appearance
Piscotty came to bat in the first with a runner on and one out. He took the first pitch outside, took a called strike inside, and then grounded out to the third baseman for a RBI. Piscotty very easily jogged down the first baseline with no reason to risk possible re-injury.
Second Plate Appearance
Piscotty’s second plate appearance on the night came in the third inning. The Tulsa starter again came with a first pitch on the outside corner for a ball. Piscotty then fouled off the next two on the inner part of the plate. He took the fourth pitch for another ball outside, and was retired on a 95 mph fastball on the inner part of the plate he swung through. Piscotty seemed to struggle with his timing on most swings. Often being early on off-speed pitches and behind on heaters.
Third Plate Appearance
Piscotty’s third plate appearance of the night, and the only in which he would reach base came in the fifth inning. The Drillers again attacked him on the inner part of the plate but he showed good plate discipline working a 3-0 count. After taking a strike on 3-0, and fouling off another, he took ball four up and in to walk. Piscotty seemed to run the bases without much hindrance. He was not really pushed to run hard though as the next two hitters were retired in order without putting the ball on the ground.
Fourth Plate Appearance
Piscotty’s final plate appearance of the night came in the seventh inning. This was his shortest plate appearance in the game at only two pitches. However, it was also the one in which he made the most solid contact. He took a first pitch strike on the outside corner, before flying out to the right fielder. The pitch he flew out on was a middle cut but lower in the zone, a quality pitch to swing at.
Close to Returning
As to be expected of the first game after a DL stint, Piscotty appeared to still be getting back into game shape. His timing will continue to improve with each live at-bat. Also, I would expect to see the intensity in his running be fully pushed to make sure he is one hundred percent healthy before being activated. He will be a welcome sight back in St. Louis after the extended absence, but it could be at the expense of spark plug and new fan favorite Magneuris Sierra.
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