The St. Louis Cardinals demoted Jordan Walker and brought back Taylor Motter, much to fans' confusion and chagrin.
Fans in Cardinals Nation are scratching their heads amid news that the team sent top prospect Jordan Walker down to Memphis and called up utility player Taylor Motter, who had just cleared waivers.
Walker's well-publicized 12-game hitting streak masked some holes in his game, such as a penchant to chase pitches and a habit of pounding the ball into the ground. But once that streak dissipated, Walker's production did too as pitchers figured out how to attack him. Walker also had several miscues in right field, and the team obviously wants to iron that out.
The decision to demote Walker is reasonable. He didn't play in several games over the past few days, and the assignment to Triple-A to let Walker have success again and reset mentally is justifiable in my view.
The Motter promotion, though, is somewhat baffling. The Cardinals gave him 20 plate appearances, and he recorded four hits while striking out eight times. The Cardinals were willing to risk letting Motter go, as they designated him for assignment, but the team appears to have had a swift change of heart.
It seemed much more logical for the Cardinals to promote outfielder Juan Yepez instead. Yepez was a strong piece in the Cardinals' lineup for much of last season, and he has nothing left to prove in Memphis. The Cardinals have seen what they can get from him at the plate, and while Yepez leaves much to be desired in the field, he has shown that he can be a factor in a game.
It's not clear yet why the Cardinals promoted Motter instead of Yepez. The best reason that comes to my mind is that the team wants to let Tommy Edman and/or Brendan Donovan have some time in the outfield and wants to give an extended look at Paul DeJong at shortstop. The other thought is that Motter likely won't have much playing time, and at 33 years old, he's a known commodity. Yepez still has time to mature at age 25, and he could use the playing time.
Passing over Yepez in favor of Motter doesn't make much sense on the surface, but Walker will hopefully not require much time in the minors to get right. This might be a short stay for Motter in the big leagues, and the Cardinals' universe should right itself soon.