The Cardinals utility infielder has never lived up to his expectations throughout his major league career, but recently has been playing very well.
This past offseason, the Cardinals acquired utility infielder Jedd Gyorko from the San Diego Padres sending outfielder Jon Jay in return. At first, the deal seemed atrocious for the Cardinals. Jay was having a career year while Gyorko continued to struggle. Now the tables have turned though, with Jay on the disabled list and Gyorko hitting his stride.
Gyorko has been given many opportunities this season. Earlier in the year he was the front runner for the starting shortstop job when Jhonny Peralta went on the DL. Gyorko simply did not preform though and lost the job to rookie Alemdys Diaz who ended up having an All-Star first half. After not getting consistent at bats, Gyorko was gifted with another opportunity to start with Peralta going down with another injury as well as Carpenter hitting the DL.
Jedd Gyorko embodies Cardinals' wide distribution of power https://t.co/AkWGYZmrrY
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 27, 2016
Gyorko has finally been getting reps everyday and has made the most of it. In his last 15 games he has hit 8 homeruns while hitting .315. He has played solid defense and has had timely hitting driving in 17 RBI in the short span. Manager Mike Matheny has gained confidence in him and moved him up to 5th and 4th spots, respectively, in yesterday’s double-header.
Gyorko’s emergence gives the Cardinals a lot of flexibility. Gyorko can play all the infield positions, making it easy for Matheny to keep his bat in the lineup. Gyorko’s hitting could not have come at a better time for the Cardinals. With the trade deadline approaching, they need to make a move. With Gyorko hitting, the Cardinals do not have to rush to trade for another infielder while Carpenter is on the DL.
General manager John Mozeliak has the luxury to trade one of his infielders now. Whether he can acquire the most value for Gyorko, Peralta or Wong, Mozeliak has the ability to trade one or even two of them if he needs.
The Cardinals are in a heated playoff battle and need to make a big move to continue to compete. Although they have played well throughout the season, they need a boast which can come from bringing a new player into the clubhouse.
Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports