Max Moroff was hitting just .083 as the league headed into the All-Star Break last week. With Starling Marte due back in the Pirates lineup a couple weeks later, the Pirates' 23-year old utility infielder presumably did not have a sure grip on his spot on the big league roster. Manager Clint Hurdle said that the team kept him because he is the second-best shortstop option on the team and can play the other three most demanding infield positions. Even though Moroff wouldn’t get the at-bats he needed in the majors, his glove, not his bat, made him valuable. Since the break, Moroff has only had three hits. But he has certainly squeezed as much value out of those hits as he possibly could. On Friday
Losing on a walk-off hit is demoralizing. The St. Louis Cardinals have experienced quite a bit of that lately. Over the past seven games, the Cardinals have lost on a walk-off hit three times. Jose Reyes, who is hitting .231/.294/.394, stepped in with men on first and third.
Wednesday’s temps flirted with triple digits like a Carlos fastball, so admittedly it was weird to think back to winter. But the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up came to mind — it’s the unofficial start to each Cards season, and remember all the happy expectations back then? Aledmys Diaz would be quality player at shortstop — a top-of-the-lineup OBP monster. Jhonny Peralta would battle for third base — he would be healthy and hungry (for redemption). Alex Reyes would be a key pitcher — either from the bullpen or as a starter. Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty would come of age — pounding pitches from the middle of the lineup. And with Seung Hwan Oh, no Eugene Koo translation would be necessary — this