The Cardinals are at a crossroads. They just shipped out 6 major leaguers, freeing up significant roster space, yet they continue to play the likes of Taylor Motter and José Fermín in the infield. Meanwhile, Andrew Suárez, Dakota Hudson, James Naile, and Drew VerHagen continue to take the mound on a regular basis.
These players have lower ceilings than others, such as Masyn Winn, Luken Baker, and Michael McGreevy. So why aren't the Cardinals putting the best, most exciting team on the field? These answers are complicated, and they should be examined on a case-by-case basis. Today, we'll take stock of the current roster situation and examine 6 specific questions.
Where on earth is Masyn Winn?
Winn has been setting the world on fire over the past several months. The slick-fielding, fire-balling shortstop has found his power stroke. His OPS is up to .822. Winn has 17 homers, a career-high. His .284 average is also a career-high. This comes after Winn introduced himself to Cardinals fans with an incredible Spring Training. Winn, at just 21, has been treated aggressively by the Cardinals. Yet now, with him at his best, tearing up AAA pitching, the Cardinals are exercising caution. Why?
The Cardinals are in no hurry to promote Winn as he isn't currently a member of the 40-man roster. There is also the fact that the Cardinals likely want to preserve Winn's rookie eligibility. If they wait to promote him until August 19, he will not accrue enough service time to lose his rookie status before 2024. This will allow the Cardinals to receive draft pick rewards if Winn finishes high enough in Rookie of the Year voting. Even if they don't get the draft picks, it ensures that they won't waste a year of control on a lost season.
In recent days, various members of the Cardinals organization have hinted that Winn will play soon. He's now generating too much excitement to ignore. However, it is almost certain that the Cardinals will wait at least another 10 days. When he does arrive, expect to see him assume an everyday role. It will be a bright moment in an otherwise dull season.