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Law: Cards do right by Piscotty, Angels fill a black hole at second

St. Louis shipped Stephen Piscotty back home to Cali to be closer to his ailing mom, while the Halos upgraded at a major weak spot. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals didn't have a place for Stephen Piscotty to play after the acquisition of Marcell Ozuna, and probably could have traded the Stanford product to a lot of different places. But they did the right thing for Piscotty as a person by sending him to Oakland -- and they still got a little value back from the Athletics in the exchange.

Piscotty put the ball on the ground more often in 2017, but he actually walked more and his swing wasn't substantially worse; he did seem to change his approach enough that pitchers kept attacking him down and away, and he kept chasing, which seems like a mental shift that could be corrected rather than a permanent loss of a physical skill. The bigger issue for Piscotty in 2017 was that his mother was diagnosed with ALS, which could also have affected him mentally and contributed to his drop in production, although he tailed off in the second half of 2016, too.