ST. LOUIS — At this point, it’s probably underselling it to say the St. Louis Cardinals are undergoing a youth movement.
It’s more like their farm system has matured at just the right time, blending perfectly with a veteran-laden roster. Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam to drive in Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman and Edmundo Sosa in the 10th inning to give the Cardinals a 7-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night in a game in which rookie Brendan Donovan once again had his footprints all over the team’s scoring and fielding.
Donovan’s Major League career has started at a time when many of his Minor League teammates also have gotten their first callups due to injuries and underperformance by some veterans. Despite being far less-heralded than many of the team’s top prospects, Donovan has made the biggest impact so far.
In just 23 Major League games, Donovan has played six positions, including right field in place of injured Dylan Carlson on Monday, while posting a 1.004 OPS and scoring 11 runs. It’s a measure of how far he has come in a short period of time that Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo elected to intentionally walk Donovan with first base open and one out in the ninth inning to get to veteran Corey Dickerson, who immediately made the move pay off by hitting into an inning-ending double play.
Donovan also made a diving catch in right field to keep the Blue Jays scoreless in the 10th, setting up the winning rally.