ST. LOUIS -- Mired in a 1-for-30 stretch that dates back to May 3, Matt Adams was out of the lineup on Friday and likely will be for multiple days as the Cardinals give the first baseman time to focus on his swing.
Though manager Mike Matheny wouldn't commit to Adams' status for Saturday, it sets up to be another ideal day to keep Adams on the bench, given that Detroit will send lefty David Price to the mound. Mark Reynolds, Adams' replacement at first base, is 8-for-31 with three homers in his career against Price.
"He's fighting himself and wants to fix it overnight," Matheny said of Adams. "It's a process, and he's in there working on his swing right now. He'll continue to get better. But until that happens, it's nice to have that option [with Reynolds]."
Reynolds, signed in December to serve as insurance behind Adams, made just his ninth start of the year at first base on Friday; but it was his 17th start in total and his ninth straight as the Cardinals continue to find ways to keep his bat in the lineup. Reynolds went 8-for-21 on the team's last road trip.
He and Adams, 26, are trending in contrasting directions. Adams entered May with a slash line of .340/.338/.493 after a strong close to April. That line has since dropped to .236/.267/.355 as he still seeks his first extra-base hit this month.
Reynolds, on the other hand, ranks third on the club in hits (13) and RBIs (eight) this month. His versatility to play both corner infield and outfield positions have allowed the Cardinals to keep Reynolds regularly engaged, and opportunities will only continue to increase the longer Adams struggles.
"You're going to go through those times, and it's nice we have another option with Mark going well right now to give [Adams] at least a day," Matheny said. "It doesn't put all the pressure in the world on him that he has to be the guy to get it done. He can go work on his swing and get it fixed. He's still a young player, too. You're going to have those days when they're still trying to hone their skill. That's consistency. That's what separates most of the veterans from the young players. Matt Adams is still a young player."