St. Louis Cardinals: Promote Dylan Carlson in September
The St. Louis Cardinals need to take advantage of September roster expansions and promote top prospect Dylan Carlson when the time comes.
Every September, the MLB allows teams to expand their roster from the normal 25 players up to a full 40 man roster. This allows teams to call up players who have previously spent the year in the minors, giving everyday big leaguers some rest down the home stretch. The biggest benefit comes in the bullpen and the St. Louis Cardinals will be no exception in needing some more bullets on both sides of the ball.
Most teams don’t use all 40 spots, but every team calls up at least a few players. This last month of the season is important not only for those competing for a playoff spot, but it also gives some teams a look at the future of their organization.
Teams aren’t calling up players from Rookie ball or recent draftees, it’s usually players from AAA or the occasional advanced AA player.
Enter Dylan Carlson
Dylan Carlson has spent the entirety of the 2019 season in AA Springfield. As one may know, he has been mashing. He’s in the top ten in nearly every offensive category. Over 385 plate appearances, he’s posted a terrific .292/.374/.530 line, along with 16 HRs (1st), 51 RBIs (6th), 178 total bases (1st), and 71 runs (1st).
So far, he looks like one of the corner outfielders of the future in St. Louis and has done little to prove otherwise. The youthful 20-year-old is clearly ready for a promotion but AAA Memphis is jam-packed with major league ready outfielders.
Why even bother?
Carlson could spend another month and a half in Springfield and jump straight to St. Louis for an audition of sorts for the final month of the season.
There are a few reasons this could be incredibly beneficial to the team.
A potential cost-effective option for 2020
The Cardinals’ payroll for 2020 is currently sitting at 2nd in all of baseball in guaranteed money as of now. This will likely change following other team’s contract options and free agency, but still, they have a lot of money already wrapped up in the future.
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Being able to start a player making $555k is a luxury. It allows the team to focus their money in other areas of the game.
If Carlson were to come in and tear it up in September, there is a realistic shot he could wind up with the major league club on Opening Day 2020.
With the front office reportedly ruling out re-signing left fielder Marcell Ozuna, Carlson could have a starting corner outfield spot his for the taking entering Spring Training next season.
Potential spark plug
Pre All-Star break, the offense looked flatter than ever. Since then, despite scoring more runs, it seemingly has been carried by one or two players at a time.
Adding a young hotshot prospect to a lineup in need of some energy can really boost team morale and light a fire under some veterans fighting for their spot.
With Carlson’s advanced approach, he could be gunning for someone’s job, motivating both him and those playing in front of him.
If you ask any major league baseball player, nearly every single one will tell you how starstruck they were during their debut, and the games immediately following.
Their lifelong dream of playing in the MLB is finally coming true. Many have to take time to absorb everything that’s going on and process what’s happening. Most don’t remember warming up for their debut out of pure nerves.
If Carlson got those jitters out of the way this season, he could go into next season (with St. Louis or not) geared up and ready to go. Getting that experience and taste of what it feels like in the big leagues forces a kid to accept nothing less than the best.
I’m not saying Carlson should get called up and hit 3rd in game one, but it could only be beneficial for the front office to see what they have in one of the fastest rising prospects in baseball as well as a very talented player on the field.