What do the Cardinals have in Michael Siani?

An unproven player has been given regular playing time and is beginning to identify himself amongst Cardinals fans.
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

St. Louis Cardinals fans have been preached to about outfielder depth for several years now. When the expected starters fail to deliver, whether that be from performance or from injuries, many unknown players have filled in and have since been moved on from.

The Cardinals have given regular playing time to Justin Williams, Ben DeLuzio, Corey Dickerson, Austin Dean, and Juan Yepez to fill these holes over the recent seasons. But none of these players have lasted on the roster. Fans see these guys and know they serve a very limited role to the team and it is a short-term solution. With many prior examples of this to learn from, do we have a similar situation right now with the 2024 team? Or is this a long-term solution the team has lacked for years? The Cardinals are trying to figure out what they have with Michael Siani.

The 2024 Cardinals started off the season with a lot of uncertainty in their starting outfield. Tommy Edman has been on the IL all season with no real promise of returning anytime soon. Dylan Carlson suffered an unfortunate injury during the last days of Spring Training and lost his chance to become a regular starter again. Lars Nootbaar has returned from his rib injury but has underperformed all season. With the offense struggling most of the season to be productive in any aspect, the team is hurting for depth to keep the team within wild card consideration. A quiet answer to their prayers has been Siani.

Siani has played in 42 of the team's 47 games in 2024. His face value slash line does not look that exciting, posting a .238/.299/.313/.611 (77 OPS+) with only 3 extra-base hits. But what is promising is the underlying stats. Siani is elite on defense, posting in the 99th percentile in fielding run value, 99th in Range (outs above average), and 81st in sprint speed. This team needs offense, but Siani is filling a major glaring hole in centerfield. The bat has heated up recently, with Siani hitting his first big league home run over the weekend. The month of May has been very promising versus his April performance

April slash line: .132/.250/.184.434

May slash line: .341/.357/.439/.796

With key players desired to make an impactful return to the lineup, the Cardinals are treading waters to keep the team and organization as a whole in relevancy. As history has shown before, the expected starters will be given their opportunities back while the depth pieces will return to limited playing time and will eventually be looking for more opportunities on another team. But with the case of Michael Siani, this might be approached differently.

The Cardinals have many decisions to make over the summer, pending a busy trade deadline. But one item needs to be observed and discussed which is the future of Michael Siani within the Cardinals organization.