(Busch Stadium) Like those traded to another team before him, the walk to the visiting side of Busch Stadium felt strange for Matt Adams, who returns tonight with the Atlanta Braves to face the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I found a home over here,” said Adams, who was traded from St. Louis to Atlanta the end of May. “A good group of guys in this clubhouse that love to play the game and it’s fun to be a part of.”
As comfortable as he is with his new teammates, Adams is looking forward to playing once again in front of the Cardinals fans and the anticipated reception he’ll receive in his first at-bat.
“I hope it’s huge,” said Adams. “It’s just gonna go off of feel, who knows what I’m going to do up there. These fans have been great to me through my career and I plan on them following me no matter where I’m at. Glad to be back and excited to play in front of them again.”
He won’t have an easy task, as Adam Wainwright will be on the mound against him.
There was no friendly wager made during that conversation.
“No, but he was one of my good friends on the team so it’s going to be cool to face him for sure.”
“I think I faced him one time in live BP in spring and then I faced him here when he was coming back from his Achilles injury, when he was starting to throw live BPs,” continued Adams. “But he’s healthy and back to the old Waino, so it’s going to be fun to step in there and go at it.”
With regular playing time, Adams has 16 home runs and 50 RBIs in Atlanta–which was somewhat expected to happen when he was dealt. But for him to still be with the team past the trade deadline–especially after Freeman’s healthy return, wasn’t as strongly predicted.
“That’s out of my hands, but I would say that I’d be lying if I didn’t think about it going up to the trade deadline,” Adams admits. “Freddie’s a great teammate, a great guy, and came back healthy and said that he was willing to try third base. Now we have another Gold Glover playing it now, so I’m back out in left field giving that a shot.”
The left field experiment was heavily scrutinized when Adams tried it in St. Louis and he stopped short of saying that it’s easier in Atlanta.
“I think it’s still very, very new,” said Adams. “Terry Pendleton has done a good job talking to me out there and I’ve got a great centerfielder out there in Inciarte who can go get balls better than anybody that I’ve seen. Just talking with those two guys has really helped me out a lot too.”
Still doing pilates, Big Skinny has maintained his weight from Spring Training and even has a couple of teammates who’ve asked about his routine. Just all part of him fitting in.
“I would have to say that my expectations, it’s been better,” shared Adams. “I’ve meshed well with everybody in this clubhouse. It’s just fun to be able to go out on the field and play with these guys. Watching this team from the other side the last couple of years, you knew they’re headed in the right direction. We never give up, until that last out is recorded. Kind of like the atmosphere was playing with the Cardinals. It’s fun and it’s fun to see the direction that this club is headed in the next couple of years. I’m thankful to be a part of that.”