Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler is barely on speaking terms with his manager.
Mike Matheny and the 32-year-old center fielder rarely talk, according to a report from The Athletic. The situation has lasted for months, according to the report, which cites unidentified team sources.
Fowler has struggled this season, registering a .171/.275/.276 slash line in 67 games. He has struck out 55 times in 217 at-bats.
Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak criticized Fowler in a recent interview.
“Here’s a guy who wants to go out and play well,” Mozeliak said (via NBC Sports). “I think he would tell you it’s hard to do that when you’re not playing on a consistent basis. But I’ve also had a lot of people come up to me and question his effort and his energy level.”
Fowler said this week he wants “to win more than anybody.”
“My effort has always been there,” Fowler said in response to Mozeliak’s comments (via MLB.com). “I think that’s out of the question. These guys in here know. I’m getting text messages from everybody. That’s (garbage). At the end of the day, I’m playing as hard as I can.”
Fowler signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Cardinals in December 2016. He slashed .264/.363/.488 and hit 18 home runs last season.
The Cardinals are currently in third place of the National League Central with a 45-41 record.
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