St. Louis Cardinals: July-changing roster moves announced
By Matt Graves
The St. Louis Cardinals have announced roster moves that will change how the team views the rest of July as well as the Deadline. What changes happened?
Matt Carpenter had been out for the St. Louis Cardinals since about 10 days ago but as the second half of the season opens up on Friday with a home series, the third baseman will be back on the active roster.
Carpenter has been one of, if not the most disappointing position players this year as after a similar horrid start to the season like he went through last year, he has yet to rebound. Even worse, last year there were many statistics one could look at to see clearly that things were going to turn around for the third baseman.
This year, there are no such statistics.
In the wake of an extension this offseason, this is the last thing that Cardinals fans want to see from the on-base machine. With Tommy Edman providing a spark at the top of the lineup, it would be a shame to see all of his playing time disappear for the returning Carpenter and hopefully, he continues to see starts at least 4-5 times a week.
There was a flurry of moves corresponding with the activation of Carpenter, not all of them good.
As Jeff Jones notes, the Cardinals once again did their favorite act of letting an obviously injured player stay on the active roster as they did with Yadier Molina. Molina, who had gone on the IL earlier this year after a partially torn tendon in his hand, was not himself at all since returning. His Instagramming fingers worked fine but with the bat, he was hitting a measly .250 with an anorexic .293 slugging percentage since his return.
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Per Mike Shildt (still through Jeff Jones), Molina did not reinjure the ligament in his hand but it hasn’t gotten better. Surgery isn’t planned and he is expected to be out for about three weeks and should be back after Ozuna.
This is a pretty bad scenario for the Cardinals as 1. Molina’s hand strength was already a clear problem and now it’s only getting worse and 2. Ozuna’s return is still a bit away.
For a team that is still on the bubble about what to do at the Trade Deadline, injuries never help and now it’s more or less inevitable that Ozuna finishes the year with the Cardinals, not that there was much buzz about them trading him.
About the other moves, I am not sad to see Tyler Webb (4.45 ERA) go down to AAA and while Ravelo didn’t really get much of a chance, Knizner needs to come up to be the backup catcher in Molina’s absence.
As for Chasen Shreve, regardless of how bad he has been in the Majors in recent history, his minor league numbers aren’t too horrible, as his 3.80 ERA and 10.5 K/9 would suggest even though the name makes some fans shiver.
These moves could complicate how the Cardinals view their team as they barrel towards the trade deadline, but at the end of the day, the same needs exist. For the rest of July, they won’t have Ozuna and Molina. They need their players to perform how they have in the past (Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt) and they need more starting pitching help. It’s as simple as that.