NEW YORK -- With Dexter Fowler hitless in his last nine at-bats and lugging an uncharacteristic .136/.224/.159 slash line into the team's series finale at Yankee Stadium, manager Mike Matheny pulled his leadoff hitter aside on Sunday to ask the simplest of questions: Are you seeing the ball?
As it turns out, no, Fowler hasn't been picking up pitches the way he typically does. But Fowler was optimistic that he'd be seeing better soon, as he recently made some tweaks to his mechanics that will better position him to follow the ball to the plate.
"Man, that's miserable going up there feeling like you can't see," Matheny said. "It's tough enough to hit it when you can. He was all excited today, [as] he found a couple things he was doing mechanically that was kind of pushing him away from being able to see the ball. That's one of the strengths that he has. Watching him this spring [you saw] how well he tracked. He knows the zone. It's something he's done for a long time."
Entering Sunday, Fowler's .224 on-base percentage was lower than any player who has led off in more than seven games this season.
"That's why you play 162 games and get 600 at-bats," Fowler said when asked about his slow start. "Got to keep going in there and take competitive at-bats and see where it takes you."
• Lefty Tyler Lyons will make his third rehab start for Triple-A Memphis on Monday against Oklahoma City. Lyons, who underwent right knee surgery in November, can remain on the rehab assignment for a maximum of 30 days.
• Outfielder Magneuris Sierra, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the organization's seventh-best prospect, has been placed on the Class A disabled list while he goes through the concussion protocol. Sierra opened the season 11-for-37 with Palm Beach (Fla.).
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.