(Warning: Story contains coarse language)
All is not well in St. Louis.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler is mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, and has recently dealt with criticism from club president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. Things may not be much better in the clubhouse, as the relationship between Fowler and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is reportedly fractured. The two barely talk anymore and haven't for months, multiple sources on and around the team told Mark Saxson of The Athletic, who notes Fowler still seems popular among his teammates.
Fowler returned to the Cardinals on Thursday following a brief stint on the paternity list and answered questions regarding his happiness in St. Louis.
"I've had my ups, I've had my downs, to say the least," Fowler told Saxson.
He added, "You're going to struggle. Everybody struggles. It's about being comfortable. I've struggled before, but I've gotten at-bats. When you don't get at-bats, it's tough to accept another position, another job."
In the second season of a five-year, $82.5-million deal, Fowler is hitting .171/.275/.276 with five home runs in 67 games and has been relegated to the bench recently.
Earlier this week, Mozeliak appeared on a Cardinals podcast and questioned Fowler's effort, though Mozeliak later said his comments "came out wrong" and everything was fine between him and the player.
Fowler disagreed with Mozeliak's initial explanation for his slump.
"My effort has always been there. I think that's out of the question. These guys in here know," he said. "I'm getting text messages from everybody, 'That's bullshit.' At the end of the day, I'm playing as hard as I can. At the end of the day, the cream will rise to the top."