Jay getting consistent starts in crowded outfield

Jay getting consistent starts in crowded outfield

ST LOUIS -- In a crowded outfield, Jon Jay has started to emerge as a player who will continue to receive consistent playing time.

"Obviously Jon's swinging the bat well," manager Mike Matheny said. "[He] had another big hit [Friday] night and continues to make the most of the opportunities he's had."

Over the last nine games entering Sunday's series finale against the Giants, Jay has hit .370 (10-for-27), making starts in six of nine games. Off the bench, the prototypical center fielder has gone 4-for-4.

Since the recent additions of young outfielders Randal Grichuk and Oscar Taveras on Friday and Saturday, Jay has started in center on both Saturday and Sunday.

"I just show up every day ready to go," Jay said. "I've been working hard, so I'm trying to stay ready."

Even while the Cardinals will work to get at-bats for their young outfielders, another spot in the lineup will present itself beginning Wednesday, when the Cardinals play in American League ballparks with a designated hitter spot for seven games.

Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.