ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' interest in adding to the offense before Friday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline took on added urgency on Wednesday night with the uncertain status of Matt Holliday's season.
Holliday hobbled off the field and then collapsed on the floor of the Cardinals' dugout Wednesday during the club's 1-0 loss to the Reds after reinjuring his right quad while trying to beat out a first-inning double play. The Cards rushed Holliday to have an MRI later in the evening so the club could get quick word on the severity of the injury. They're expected to disclose the results on Thursday.
"I can't deny the fact that it plays into the equation," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said when asked if the Cards' Trade Deadline strategy would take on a different look now.
In fact, on Thursday, the Cardinals acquired left-handed hitter Brandon Moss from the Indians in exchange for touted lefty prospect Rob Kaminsky. Moss has spent most of his time in right field this season, but he's played 147 career games in left. Moss also has experience at first base.
Even before Holliday crumpled in pain, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak had been active in canvassing the trade market for potential upgrades. A first-base filler had been his focus, as the Cards have lacked sufficient production from that position since Matt Adams underwent surgery for a quadriceps injury in May.
The Cardinals have covered first base with Mark Reynolds, Dan Johnson and, most recently, Stephen Piscotty, who has made a nice first impression in the nine days since his Major League debut. But while the Cards were already hesitant to have that combination handling the spot for the foreseeable future, the injury put them on even shakier ground.
Piscotty, who has hit safely in each of his first six Major League starts, could be a fit in left field. But his brief big league exposure presents myriad questions regarding reasonable expectation for him. With Jon Jay still weeks away from his return from a wrist injury, the Cardinals' other internal outfield options don't go much beyond Piscotty, Peter Bourjos or Tommy Pham.
Since returning from the initial quad strain he suffered on June 8, Holliday was 6-for-29 with six walks, one grand slam and three doubles. Wednesday was just his 10th start since sitting for a stretch of 31 games. He returned with some limitation, as the Cards implored that he run cautiously, particularly if he felt any continued discomfort.
"We were giving him the freedom that if he felt something, he should back off," Matheny said. "Push as he could push. We didn't see anything that was leading in the direction that we thought this would reoccur if he was able to monitor what it felt like. But that didn't work."