DOWNTOWN — Turns out, there may be more than meets the eye about new Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus’ apparent trouble hitting at Busch Stadium.
Glaus left Friday night’s game after his second strikeout of the evening, a bases-loaded whiff in the second inning of the eventual loss to Houston. The Cardinals said Glaus left because watery eyes made it difficult for him to see. After the 3-2 loss, manager Tony La Russa elaborated on why the third baseman left the game.
He’s having trouble seeing. At the plate. At night. At Busch.
“His eye’s are watering at night,” La Russa said. “Only here. Something about the dampness and cold.”
On Saturday morning, Glaus explained on how only at night and at home has he had trouble stopping his eyes from watering at the plate. During his at-bats Friday it got to a point where “there were a couple pitches I did not see. That’s just not safe.” The numbers support his difficulty seeing at night games at home — as he’s 3-for-24 with eight strikeouts. (There is a detailed breakdown of his numbers in Comment #2 below.)
Glaus had already met with an eye doctor about the problems, and allergies, so far, are being pegged as the reason. Glaus said he has never had allergies before, and he’s wondering if there might be another cause. By Monday, he hopes to have a pair of clear glasses — like sunglasses with clear lenses — to wear at the plate.
After Houston starter Shawn Chacon struck Glaus out with the bases loaded in the second — one of several chances to add on to a 2-0 lead that the Cardinals flubbed — the Cardinals infielder was met at the dugout rail by trainer Barry Weinberg. The two had an extended conversation as Glaus’ teammates took the field. He took several steps away from Weinberg before walking back and taking the stairs into the dugout, not to return to the game.
La Russa said Glaus would be back in the lineup Saturday.
“It’s a day game,” he explained.
Glaus brought a .275 batting average into Friday’s game, but most of that was built on the road. The third baseman, acquired from Toronto this offseason in the swap of All-Star third basemen, was hitting just .237 at Busch before Friday’s game. He has dismissed questions about “pushing” or “stressing” or “trying to impress” at his new home.
“Who isn’t trying too hard?” Glaus said during the previous home stand. “What does that mean? I just don’t think it works that way.”
A 7-for-18 surge on the recent road trip swept Glaus’ road average this season to .310 and he was hitting .343 in the 10 games before Friday. His road/home splits are profound:
HOME – 13 games, 42 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 4 RBI, 7 BB, 10 K … .214/.320/.310
ROAD — 11 games, 42 AB, 4 R, 13 H, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 7 K … .310/.396/.476
La Russa said the watery eyes only bother Glaus at the plate, and that he hasn’t had the trouble anywhere but the plate.