St. Louis Cardinals’ Infield Continues to Shuffle
As the season heads into another month, the roster shakeup is continuing to affect the middle infield of the St. Louis Cardinals.
For St. Louis Cardinals’ GM, John Mozeliak, it has been a busy two weeks. Mozeliak has been tasked with keeping tabs on Jhonny Peralta tracking his progress through rehab assignments, acquired Jose Martinez from the Royals, and had to work the roster around Matt Carpenter‘s paternity leave.
With Matt Carpenter returning from his short absence, Mozeliak has made another move to the roster by designating infielder Ruben Tejada for assignment, thus ensuring that Greg Garcia‘s spot on the roster is safe…for now.
For those of you who are unaware of what it means to designate someone for assignment in major league baseball, it essentially means that the club has four options when deciding what to do with a player: 1) place them on waivers, 2) trade them, 3) release the player, or 4) send them outright to the minor leagues.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
It will be intriguing to see what the Cardinal organization does with Tejada. After acquiring Tejada in Spring Training when the Mets released him on March 16th, Tejada appeared in 23 regular season games for the Cardinals with a slash line of .176/.225/.235 and happened to be the main victim of fellow infielder Aledmys Diaz‘s breakthrough start to his career.
Tejada also added two errors in 17 chances to a Cardinals’ defense that has had its fair share of struggles. Of the four options for Tejada, the Cardinals may benefit most from either trading him for a low prospect or cash considerations, or they could just outright release him into free agency.
My reasoning for this is because I see no point in crowding up the Cardinals minor league system with what is already known to be a below average major leaguer in Tejada. With Jhonny Peralta looming in his rehab, he will be back in St. Louis in no time.
This means one of the multitude of Cardinals’ infielders will have to be sent down, which is where Greg Garcia comes back into the mix. Looking into my crystal ball.
If the Cardinals put Tejada in AAA at Memphis, that creates a battle for at-bats between him and Garcia at shortstop, let alone Matt Williams. Just cut Tejada lose, Mozeliak.
Despite seeming like the best option, there may be an alternative to who to send down to AAA if Greg Garcia can prove to be of some worth like he has in this Nationals series. The alternative you ask? Kolten Wong.
The Cardinals invested a bunch of money into Wong this offseason, however according to Spotrac, Wong is only slated to make $1.25 million this season, so there is little hurt in sending Wong down if his struggles continue. Wong’s slash line is .230/.315/.305, so it appears only slightly better than the DFA’d Tejada.
It is a major if, but if Greg Garcia can prove to be consistent help in St. Louis, he could provide a solid backup to Diaz, Peralta, and Carpenter while Wong continues to get at-bats in Memphis. Garcia looks to improve on a 1-2 night last night in which he hit a solo home run, and walked twice as he is back in the starting lineup today, this time batting eighth.
Next: Where Are All of the Trades?
As mentioned above, Matt Carpenter is also slated to return tonight against the Washington Nationals, and will be back in the leadoff spot. You may be glad to hear that the Carpenters gave birth to a beautiful baby girl during his absence from the Cardinals so it was time well spent.