Cardinals Kolten Wong rips Rays for not calling up brother Kean, says they are “bad organization”

Kean Wong, who had three hits including a double, steals third base Wednesday against the Pirates. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
Kean Wong, who had three hits including a double, steals third base Wednesday against the Pirates. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published September 17 2018

Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong ripped the Rays for not calling up his younger brother, Kean, from Triple-A, saying he was passed over repeatedly.

"He's just in a bad organization which doesn't give chances to guys who deserve chances. That's tough for him. He's a really good player and not to have a chance is sad," Kolten Wong told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

"The guy's done everything. He's been an All-Star. He's been an All-Star MVP. I think he's gone above and beyond for that organization to not have a chance.

"To do it in the biggest games and not get a nod … it's a slap in the face to him. I had to talk to him and kind of keep him going. They called up a couple of guys that were below him (in classification). They just kind of overlooked him. That's crazy, for what he's done in his career."

The Rays have, obviously, been giving chances to lots of young players this season during a massive roster transition.

Wong, 23, is a versatile infielder/outfielder who has hit .282 with nine homers, 50 RBIs and a .750 OPS for the Bulls, who are facing the Cardinals' Memphis on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship Game.

He was strongly considered for a promotion in early August when Daniel Robertson was hurt, but the Rays opted instead for Brandon Lowe. Wong also seemed to be passed over when Andrew Velazquez was called up Sept. 2, but at the time the Rays cited Velazquez's versatility in being able to play centerfield and shortstop, which Wong does not.

Another factor then, and likely to be again when additional callups are made Wednesday, is that Wong is not on the 40-man roster.

Rays manager Kevin Cash did not make much of the elder Wong's criticism.

"Kean has had a solid year, and congratulations to him for being part of that Durham championship, a really big part," Cash said. "I understand his brother's comments. Brotherly love. It's good that he's supporting him.
"Wish nothing but success for Kean and his future. There's a lot of people (in the Rays organization) that really support Kean Wong."

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