Piscotty leaves Cards for personal matter

Piscotty leaves Cards for personal matter

DENVER -- Outfielder Stephen Piscotty left the Cardinals Friday before the start of a three-game set in Colorado to attend to a personal matter.

"We're sending Steve home to take care of some things on a personal level," manager Mike Matheny said before the opening 10-0 loss to the Rockies.

Piscotty remained on the roster after he left Friday, and Matheny said he didn't know when to expect him to return to the club. The Cardinals did not appear to have a player available to add to the roster in time for Friday's game, but they could add a player during the weekend to take Piscotty's place.

Piscotty was with the team Friday, and left a couple hours before the first pitch. He was not in the lineup, but that was unrelated to his personal matter.

"We were giving him a scheduled day [off]," Matheny said.

Piscotty came off the disabled list Saturday after missing 12 games while recovering from a right hamstring strain, and had gone 3-for-19 since his return. He's played in each of five games since returning, and started four of those.

Familiarity for Fowler

Dexter Fowler returned to Colorado -- where he played his first six big league seasons -- in a bit of a slump. He was 1-for-14 (.071) against the Dodgers in the previous series, and he has had a rough couple weeks.

"You know what's funny?" Fowler said before Friday's game. "I've taken some good at-bats. I've been hitting the ball hard. I've just been getting out. It's been like that for probably about two weeks now. You got to roll with it."

He continues to get on base, having reached safely in 17 of his last 20 starts entering Friday, but he's seen his average dip 33 points over the last week.

"They're playing me in the same position, I'm just hitting them right there," Fowler said. "It happens. It gets frustrating, but at the end of the day, you have to keep swinging."

Fowler entered Friday a .318 hitter (14-for-44) hitter against his old club, with a double, two triples, and four home runs, and he is a career .298 hitter at Coors Field, but he didn't expect the ballpark to be an easy cure-all.

"That's a good team over there," Fowler said of the first-place Rockies. "They say it's a hitter's park, but they have good pitching as well."

Road to recovery

Jose Martinez was assigned to Class-A Palm Beach on a rehab assignment Friday as he recovers from a groin injury.

"He took some at-bats down in extended spring," Matheny said of his progress. "Everything came back positive. I didn't see how the at-bats themselves went, but everything was positive on a physical side."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. He covered the Cardinals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.