The expansion of rosters is quickly approaching as September 1 is just around the corner. Let’s look and see who might be joining the St. Louis Cardinals when rosters expand.
The St. Louis Cardinals have an impressive coaching staff in Memphis for the organization’s AAA team, the Memphis Redbirds. I’ve praised this staff in an earlier article and continue to feel that their work will pay off as the MLB rosters expand. Let’s dig into the Redbirds stats as of today to see who might be on their way to St. Louis in September.
The St. Louis Cardinals roster seemed to have expanded already with the additions of Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver but others could provide additional spark as well. First up, to fill the bench, Breyvic Valera should be a no-brainer when rosters expand. As of August 20, Valera owns a slash line of .358/.432/.432 in AAA this season.
Before moving to another name, let me praise Valera for his spunk and his ability to smash out a hit of any nature in any game. Valera was a relatively unknown player prior to 2016 due in large part to his relatively consistent-but-quiet offense.
In 2012 (short-A, and AA), Valera hit .314/.356/.415. In full-A ball in 2013, he hit .309/.358/.367. Valera saw playing time in advanced-A and AA in 2014 (advanced-A and AA) where he hit .313/.361/.367, and, in 2015 (advanced-A and AA), he hit .251/.323/.316. Not flashy but consistent.
In his last ten games, Breyvic has failed to hit in only three games which could spell some nice OBP either in St. Louis Cardinals games or from the bench. Call him up.
Next up from the offensive stance is either outfielder David Washington or outfielder Jose Martinez. I mention both of these names together as I’m not sold on who will get the call, if either will get the call, or if neither will get the call. I mention them, nevertheless, since they are sluggers.
Washington has smashed twenty-three home runs for Memphis but owns a .245 average currently. Martinez has smashed ten home runs for Memphis and owns a .282 average. These stats leave me wondering but I could see these added for protection in the outfield.
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On the pitching side of things, I could easily see Mike Mayers getting called-up in September. Yes, we all remember the slaughter that befell Mayers during the Sunday night ESPN game. This was unfortunate and not justified. As a sign of good nature, I can see the St. Louis Cardinals pulling him up as insurance and to secure the pen.
Currently, Mayers has pitched in 73.2 innings this season for Memphis and owns a 3.30 ERA with a 3-6 record. While he still has much requiring work, part of his development could benefit from additional major league appearances and experience.
A few pen names to watch are those who have appeared a few times already with the St. Louis Cardinals this season. These are Dean Kiekhefer (the incumbent LOOGY), Miguel Socolovich, and Sam Tuivailala. Kiekhefer has a Memphis ERA of 1.76 in 30.2 innings. Socolovich has a Memphis ERA of 3.24 in 50 innings. Tuivailala has a Memphis ERA of 5.44 in 43 innings.
A pitching dark horse could well be Ryan Sherriff who has a 6-1 record in 60.2 innings and an ERA of 2.97. While his development is still on-going, a September call-up doesn’t feel out of the question to me. Keep on eye on him whether he appears with the St. Louis Cardinals in September or in 2017.
Barrelling into the Wild Card is something for which the St. Louis Cardinals continue to hope and build steam in recent games. Could September hold the key for added strength and security thanks to call-up? Will these names be those adding these components? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and thanks for the read!