In a shocking development, the St. Louis Cardinals are calling up top prospects Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore. The future has arrived.
The St. Louis Cardinals are calling up top prospects Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gorman will join the team on Friday while Liberatore will start Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This is a significant development and something that many observers, myself included, did not see coming this soon. But with the Cardinals’ infield in desperate need of capable bats and defenders, they are calling upon Gorman to answer the bell at second base. The move likely means that Tommy Edman will shift to shortstop, though nothing is official.
Gorman, 22, has been tearing it up in Triple-A and is regarded as their best, most major-league ready hitting prospect. In 34 games, he’s hitting .308/.367/.677 with a 1.044 OPS and 15 home runs in 133 at-bats. Part of why the Cardinals kept him down so long is his strikeout rate – he has 50 strikeouts in 133 at-bats – but evidently the team believes he will be fine at the major-league level.
As for Liberatore, this is the bulk of the surprise. All eyes were on Gorman, but the 22-year-old Liberatore is making his long-awaited debut and is starting when the assumption was that he would be called up and pitch out of the bullpen to ease him into action. In seven starts (40 innings), he has posted a 3.83 ERA and a 46/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and is widely regarded as their best internal pitching prospect.
It’s an exciting time for the Cardinals and for both Gorman and Liberatore. It marks their major-league debuts and signals the beginning of the new era of Cardinals Baseball while they still have Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and others on the roster.
It’s unfortunate that they won’t be making their debuts in St. Louis, but they’ll play in Busch Stadium before too long. For now, two of the organization’s best and brightest prospects are hours from making their debut, and that takes the sting away from a devastating 7-6 loss to the Mets on Thursday.