St. Louis Cardinals: Please Mozeliak, keep Magneuris Sierra in the majors

michaeldavidmiles
May 8, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Magneuris Sierra (43) celebrates in the dugout after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Magneuris Sierra (43) celebrates in the dugout after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have threatened to activate their disabled third baseman on Friday which could spell the demotion of the newest young stud. This would be a major disservice.

Rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals third baseman, Jhonny Peralta, is set to return from the disabled list as early as Friday. At least this has been the threatened rhetoric from the Cardinals organization. I know I’m not alone in this so let me just say that activating him and demoting Magneuris Sierra would be a gross disservice to Cardinals Nation.

I wrote recently that the time has come to bid Peralta farewell. After Sierra’s performance in the final game of the two-game sweep suffered at the hands of the Red Sox, I continue to believe that Peralta should be released.

Notice that I said “released.” As I mentioned in my post about cutting ties, I think the St. Louis Cardinals would be better-served simply eating the $10M owed to Peralta for his final year of 2017 than having him return and bring with him mediocrity over the speed and batting ability of Sierra.

Let’s look at the numbers. Through twenty at-bats in his rehab assignment in Memphis, Peralta is slashing .316/.350/.368 with a mere six hits while striking out five times. That is almost one hit to each K.

Sierra, on the other hand, is impressing Cardinals Nation with his ability to jump from the low minors directly into the majors. In thirty at-bats (ten more than Peralta’s minors at-bats), Sierra has eleven hits (five more than Peralta) while striking out seven times (two more than Peralta). Sierra’s K-to-hit ratio sits at 7:11 while Peralta sits at 5:6; the better the player, the wider the margin.

Sierra’s slash sits at .367/.406/.367. Cutting to the chase: I’d rather keep Sierra over Peralta any day.

Here’s the issue though, the two players occupy different spots on the field. In other words, comparing the two at the plate is fair (maybe) but the comparison on the field is night-and-day. Peralta would be returning to third base which is currently being occupied by Jedd Gyorko while Sierra is an outfielder in a crowded outfield.

Sierra is also developing and needs to play every day which is why the organization would consider optioning him when Peralta returns. I can understand this but do not agree with it. Let me explain. I believe that Sierra needs to remain in the majors until Stephen Piscotty returns and/or until Jose Martinez returns.

Let me be clear: I do not feel that the return of Peralta is strength enough to justify a move of Sierra.

Why? One reason is that Sierra has collected a hit in each of the games in which he has started. Another reason is his speed. Another reason still is his defense abilities. None of these three things can be attributed to Jhonny Peralta.

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Another reason to keep Sierra over Peralta (assuming that this will be the decision the organization makes) is Gyorko himself. Jedd is perhaps the offensive MVP of the St. Louis Cardinals to this point in the season. With Gyorko playing a hot bat, I just don’t think that supplanting him because Jhonny is the veteran is a fair or right choice.

To that point, Gyorko is slashing .331/.383/.593. See that big slugging number? Until he cools, I just don’t see Peralta returning and dramatically improving his offensive output. If he were tearing up the cover in AAA then I think the team could defend any decision to use Peralta as a replacement over a current player but that is not the case.

To defend that last statement, we need only point to Tommy Pham and his time in AAA this season wherein he was posting great numbers but remained stuck in Memphis. Why then is the organization considering bumping Peralta up (and perhaps putting him in ANY lineup) when his AAA numbers pale to those posted by Pham (during his time in AAA)?

Here are the numbers that Pham posted this season in AAA:

Standard Batting
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
201729STL-minAAA2510692172680419631321.283.371.500.8714610100MEM · PCL
4 Yrs147409357629118517457444129.255.343.476.81911917045122
162 Game Avg.1624513936810020619508448142.255.343.476.81911918746122

These are the current numbers for Peralta in his rehab in AAA:

Standard Batting
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
201735STL-minAAA,A+620192610020015.316.350.368.718700000MEM,PLM · PCL,FLOR
15 Yrs17857288657083917533762420287317276041446.267.329.424.753102278319938136324
162 Game Avg.1626615967615934218792255131.267.329.424.753102253183162
GPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
CLE (8 yrs)9233829343547790620116103456914329826.264.329.422.7519914481012111338
STL (4 yrs)402160814531633848124617546130288.264.327.418.74510460748120138
DET (4 yrs)460185116821994639465324247145332.275.332.433.7641067285052178
AL (11 yrs)13835680511767613692952215669813214741158.268.330.425.755101217615126135016
NL (4 yrs)402160814531633848124617546130288.264.327.418.74510460748120138

If you had a slot to promote, would you choose Peralta over Pham? And yet, the organization kept Pham in Memphis but are considering activating Peralta… Okay, okay, Pham was to be promoted to a crowded outfield but the offensive comparison must be considered.

Bottom line to me is this: I believe, as I shared in my earlier article, that Peralta’s time with the St. Louis Cardinals would be better spent coming to an end. I am just not so sure that Peralta is a big enough threat off the bench and certainly do not see him impacting the team in a positive way as a replacement over our current lineup.

Next: Good outweighs bad, right?

What do you think? Would you send Sierra down or keep him up? Would you release Peralta? Send me a message on Twitter and let me know your thoughts! Thanks for reading!

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