"I've been talking to him about the psychological approach to batting second," Matheny said. "I told him [on Tuesday], 'I don't know that there's going to be a time this year when I'm going to tell you to give yourself up to get the runner over. I want you driving the ball. I want you with that mindset. You're going to get the runner over at times when you mishit a ball, but I don't want that being your thing, to give up an out. I want you smoking it, no matter where they pitch it.'"
Heyward opened the spring with hits in his first six games. He went 0 for 3 Thursday, dropping him to 7 for 20 with two walks and two stolen bases in nine games. All seven of his hits have been singles.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that Heyward, who has batted second in the order in the first few spring games, is likely to continue in that spot this season.
The Cardinals aquired Heyward in an offseason trade with the Braves, and manager Mike Matheny believes he'll be able to flourish in that spot in the order.
"There is still a max that he hasn’t achieved yet," Matheny said.
In Thursday's exhibition against the Marlins, Heyward hit a single in his first at-bat in the first inning. He scored a run, too, in St. Louis' 4-1 win.
"It's good to play baseball," Heyward said, per MLB.com. "[It's a] fresh start in so many ways this year."
Heyward went 1-for-2 in the afternoon. He was traded to the
“People think I can’t hit lefties,” he said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Coming up through the minors, I hit them. But that’s totally different. Hitting lefties in the minors and hitting lefties in the big leagues is different. The confidence for me is there, in the back of my mind. I know what I can do. That hasn’t changed. This is where I definitely have to focus and put the hammer to it.”
Adams isn't the only starter for St. Louis that struggles against lefties. Outfielder
“There are certain guys that you don’t want to platoon,” Matheny said. “There are guys you don’t want to have off the field, and I think that’s what they want. They want to be the guy who doesn’t come off the field. They want to be out there all the time. Both of them have shown it in the past that they can have success against left-handed pitching. It’s just a matter of getting them comfortable. With our lineup they’re going to throw a lot of (lefties) at us. Maybe that will help generate that confidence.”
Although his spot in the lineup remains uncertain,
"I've told him that," Matheny said. "It came after, Where do you see yourself? That's where we're going to start this. What kind of hitter does he want to be? Where does he feel that he can bring the most to this team and bring out his talents? It's in a spot at least in his own mind and he can get in there and drive the ball.
"Right now I want Jason in a good place," Matheny said. "I want him in a good place in his mind. He's saying all the right things, and the right thing to say is, 'I'll hit wherever they want me to hit.' But I've made it clear to him that we don't need him to be something that he's not."
Heyward, 25, served as Atlanta's leadoff hitter in 2014, hitting .271 with a .384 slugging percentage, .735 OPS, 11 home runs, 26 doubles and 58 RBI in 149 games.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs Philadelphia|
|vs Hamels (Career)||32||7||0||.344||.359||.219|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 |
| 6 || 7 |
| 8 |
| 9 || 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 || 15 |
| 16 |
| 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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