Why didn’t the St. Louis Cardinals call up Nolan Gorman? It ranges from not getting consistent at-bats to his high strikeout rate.
After it was reported that the St. Louis Cardinals optioned Paul DeJong to Triple-A Memphis, the immediate thought was that it was Nolan Gorman time. Then an hour later, the Cardinals announced that it was infielder Kramer Robertson being called up instead.
The first reason is that the Cardinals still do not have consistent at-bats for Gorman in the majors, as they intend to give Edmundo Sosa the chance to win the everyday shortstop job, manager Oli Marmol told reporters. The most plausible scenario for that is if Sosa struggles, forcing Tommy Edman to move to shortstop. Then second base would be open and that just so happens to be Gorman’s primary position.
Secondly, it’s the strikeout rate. Neither Marmol nor president of baseball operations John Mozeliak mentioned it, but his strikeout rate – 39 punchouts in 104 at-bats – is far too high. If he’s striking out over 33% in Triple-A, just how high would it be in the majors? Still, Gorman has managed to be highly effective, hitting .298//357/.673 with a 1.030 OPS, 12 home runs and 18 RBI in 27 games.
Gorman will be called up at some point this season, perhaps before the All-Star break. But the Cardinals will be careful not to promote him too early and will instead try to get him as much seasoning in the minor-leagues as possible. Their depth chart that includes Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, Kramer Robertson and Edmundo Sosa allows them that flexibility.
Is it what most fans want? No. They’ll want Gorman, who is tantalizingly close to making his big league debut. But he’s not quite ready. Besides, there’s no point in calling him up if he wouldn’t get consistent at-bats, and instead would sit on the bench and/or be a designated hitter on any given night.