Kolten Wong's 2016 showing was one to forget from the beginning, as he got off to a very slow start and hit just .222/.306/.286 through his first 49 games. As a result, he was sent to Triple-A Memphis, where he played seven games and took reps in center field. Upon his return to the majors, Wong was used as a utility man, playing every outfield position in addition to second base. While his batting average fell to .240 from 2015's .262 mark, his OBP rose (albeit marginally) due to his increased patience at the plate (9.4 percent walk rate, up from 5.9 percent). Despite this glimmer of hope, he never returned to his former role as a regular for the Cardinals and was used primarily off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Wong may remain relegated to a reserve role to begin 2017 and thus remain limited to deep mixed and NL-only consideration, especially given the slew of capable middle-infield options around the league.
Wong went 2-for-2 with an RBI double, two walks, a stolen base and two runs in Sunday's 6-4 win over the Brewers. The 26-year-old put in a full and highly productive day that represented his best all-around effort of the season. Wong has raised his average from .171 to .229 in the last four games on the strength of a 5-for-13 performance that includes two doubles, a triple, four RBI, three walks, a pair of stolen bases and four runs.
Wong went for 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and a walk in Friday's 6-3 win over the Brewers. After compiling just three hits over his first 27 at-bats of the season, Wong is now 5-for-15 with a double, a triple, three RBI, a walk and five runs over his last five games. Friday's effort represented his first multi-hit game of the season. While his average still sits at an unsightly .214, the 26-year-old has his slugging percentage up to .405 and could be emerging from his funk at the plate.
Wong went 1-for-4 with a three-run triple Thursday against Milwaukee. The Hawaiian second baseman ripped a 2-1 offering from Zach Davies into the right-field corner to clear the bases and tie the game in the second inning, although his following trips to the plate proved to be unfruitful as the Cardinals fell 7-5 to the Brewers. Wong is in the midst of one of his better stretches at the plate this season, although that isn't saying much as his .200 batting average over the past week is actually an improvement. However, with Jhonny Peralta (illness) landing on the DL and Jedd Gyorko sliding over to fill in for him, Greg Garcia poses his only competition for playing time at the keystone, meaning Wong likely will continue to get plenty of opportunities to right the ship.
Wong went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Monday's 2-1 win over the Pirates. Wong blasted an Ivan Nova third-inning offering 396 feet to right center in the third, opening the scoring on the night. Like the majority of his teammates, the 26-year-old has endured a rough season at the plate thus far, and he'd checked into Monday having gone 1-for-15 over the previous four games in which he'd logged an official at-bat. Wong could continue to be spelled by Greg Garcia on occasion, as despite Monday's production, his average still sits at .167.
Wong is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Yankees. Wong hasn't contributed much on offense so far this season, as he's slashing just .148/.258/.222 over 10 games. Greg Garcia will get the nod to start at second base over Wong on Sunday night.
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