Braves 1B/OF fondly recalls Cards tenure, happy in new home
By Nate Latsch
Special to MLB.com |
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Adams was greeted by many familiar faces when he returned to Busch Stadium on Friday, with former Cardinals teammates, coaches, media members and stadium workers among those welcoming the Braves outfielder/first baseman.
Adams, a 23rd-round Draft pick by the Cardinals in 2009 as a catcher before moving to first base and the outfield, was traded to the Braves in late May in exchange for Minor Leaguer Juan Yepez after Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman landed on the disabled list with his wrist fracture.
Friday's 8-5 Braves loss to the Cards marked the first time Adams, who spent parts of six seasons with St. Louis, had found himself in the visitors' clubhouse at Busch Stadium.
"It was different," Adams said before the game. "Four-plus years of walking to the home side. But that's baseball. I've found a home over here with a good group of guys in this clubhouse that love to play the game. It's fun to be a part of."
Adams figured he would be greeted warmly by the Cardinals fans in his return, but the second-inning ovation from the crowd of 41,928 was even better than he had anticipated.
"I wasn't expecting it to be that loud," said Adams, who hit an RBI single in the sixth. "But they do it right here. I told [Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina] to get back behind the plate, but he stood out there a couple extra seconds, which was pretty cool."
Adams appeared in 31 games with the Cardinals this season, batting .292 with one homer, seven RBIs and four runs scored. In 66 games with the Braves, he's hit .272 with 15 home runs, 44 RBIs and 34 runs scored.
"Obviously he was a big get for us," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We couldn't have done any better than that guy right there when Freddie went down. He was a huge part then -- his willingness to go to the outfield when we decided to put Freddie back at first. He's out there early today doing drills and things to try to get better. He's been a big guy in our clubhouse and on this team."
Adams is one home run shy of matching his career high of 17, set in '13, when he played in 108 games. He hit 15 in 142 games in '14 and 16 in 118 games a year ago.
His production with the Braves has shown what he's capable of at the plate.
"I feel like whenever I played on a daily basis with the Cardinals, I was able to put up some good numbers, but we just had a couple years where we had a lot of the same type of guys on the roster, so it really didn't work out," Adams said. "I'll always be thankful for the opportunities that I got with the Cardinals and always will continue to be grateful for those opportunities moving forward, no matter where I am. But I'm happy with where I'm at now."
Kemp working toward return
Outfielder Matt Kemp, who went on the 10-day disabled list July 29, continues to recover from his right hamstring strain. He did some on-field conditioning and rehab work with a trainer before Friday's game.
"He's doing a lot of work inside, too, and then coming out here," Snitker said. "It's good. Hopefully we'll get him back and he can finish the year strong."
Player to be named named
The Braves received Minor League infielder Kevin Franklin from the Reds on Friday as the player to be named to complete the Feb. 12, 2017, trade that brought Brandon Phillips to Atlanta.
Franklin, 22, was a second-round Draft pick in 2013. The first baseman was hitting .179 (15-84) with two doubles, one homer, five RBIs, five runs scored and a .225 OBP in 27 games in Class A, split between two teams.
Minor Leaguer suspended
Braves Minor League pitcher Madinson Colon, who is on the roster of the Braves' Dominican Summer League team, has received a 72-game suspension without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.
Colon, a 19-year-old right-hander, was 0-3 with an 18.41 ERA in eight relief appearances. In 7 1/3 innings he allowed 16 runs (15 earned) on nine hits, struck out four and walked 17.
Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Braves on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.