Piscotty's home debut delayed by stiff neck

Piscotty's home debut delayed by stiff neck

ST. LOUIS -- A stiff neck kept Stephen Piscotty from making his much anticipated home debut on Thursday night, and it also delayed the Cardinals from being able to get their first look at their top prospect as a first baseman.

Initially slated to hit eighth and start at a position he played just six times in the Minors, Piscotty was pulled from the starting lineup about three hours before first pitch. Piscotty said he woke up with a crick in his neck and was still "having a tough time moving my head to the left" when he reported to Busch Stadium.

"[I'm] really just pretty bummed," Piscotty said of having to sit. "Talk about unfortunate. It's just too bad."

Manager Mike Matheny did not rule out Piscotty being able to pinch-hit in the makeup game against the Royals if Piscotty responded well to treatment and therapy provided by the medical staff.

Piscotty started in left field in both of the Cardinals' games in Chicago this week and went 2-for-8 to open his Major League career. With Matt Holliday back in left field now that the designated hitter isn't an option, the Cards are ready to see if Piscotty can be a serviceable option at first base.

Instead, Dan Johnson started at first on Thursday.

The setback left Piscotty having to wait a bit longer for a moment he has been anticipating for some time.

"Obviously, I'm pumped," Piscotty said of readying for his home debut. "I'm really excited for what I consider to my second debut out here at Busch, one that will probably be the most memorable. Obviously, the first one was great, but this is the one I'm really looking forward to ... It's such a special thing here at Busch, and I can't wait for that moment."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.