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Latest Cardinals’ Roster Moves Back Up Mozeliak’s Youth Movement Comments

Latest Cardinals' Roster Moves nmdude4/ via


Latest Cardinals’ Roster Moves Back Up Mozeliak’s Youth Movement Comments

The latest Cardinals’ roster moves have been backing President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak’s comments, about bringing youth to the team, in 2018.  With September call ups imminent, a flurry of moves has begun the youth movement, in St. Louis.  This could mean multiple things for the Cardinals.

Latest Cardinals’ Roster Moves

The late August trade that sent Mike Leake to Seattle, got everything started.  You can read more about the trade here.  Lance Lynn said some things, as did Tommy Pham.  Then, Mozeliak spoke, saying the trade was a step in the team’s direction for 2018.  A direction that would give young guys, like Jack Flaherty, their chances in the rotation.  Flaherty made Leake’s next scheduled start, on Friday.

Another roster move, that coincides with the youth movement, was the designation of, a veteran reliever, Kevin Siegrist, for assignment.  Siegrist had not pitched like himself and has had trouble staying healthy, since the 2015 season, when he made 81 appearances.  It was time to let him go.  The Philadelphia Phillies claimed him, on Saturday.  His DFA opens the door for guys like Sandy Alcantara, John Gant, and Ryan Sherriff.

Finally, the first wave of September call ups has brought a plethora of young talent to the big league club.  Sandy Alcantara, Alberto Rosario, Alex Mejia, and Harrison Bader, who hit his first Major League home run Friday, were all brought up, along with Flaherty.  This has been said to be the first of two groups to be added to the big league roster, this September.  Magnerius Sierra will likely highlight the second group.

What the Moves Mean for St. Louis

These moves could have a few different meanings for the Cardinals.  It could mean they have given up on 2017, or that they feel the younger guys will give them a better chance.  However, it is unclear where the team stands on this issue.  It has been hard to read whether or not they are already looking to 2018.  These moves could also determine Lance Lynn’s future with the team, one way or another.

The Case for 2017

If the Cards are trying to win this year, these moves not only back Mozeliak’s comments, but they also show confidence in their young players.  The decision to move on from Leake is going to be both beneficial for this year, and the next.  Leake was no longer the team’s best option, but Flaherty could also be auditioning for a spot in the 2018 rotation.  That makes it hard to judge the Cardinals direction, based on this move, but either way, it makes them more competitive this year.

One move that is a little more determining, is putting Piscotty in the lineup, every day.  He could only be playing now because Pham is hurt, but, if they want to win this season, Piscotty should be on the bench.  Even with Pham injured, Martinez’ wRC+ of 125 should play.  Randal Grichuk, Dexter Fowler, and Tommy Pham should get the bulk of the outfield time, but Martinez should be next up, over Piscotty.

As far as the bullpen goes, the case for winning this season is the same as that for looking to 2018.  The young guys, and Tyler Lyons should get the ball.  Alcantara is a better option than Oh, Sherriff is better than Cecil, and Brebbia is a better option than Bowman. These guys will give the Cardinals the best chance, in 2017, if Matheny can get on board.

The Case for 2018

Making the playoffs in 2017 may be out of reach already, forgetting the mathematical perspective.  In this case, the Cardinals need to give the young guys their shot and let the other guys figure it out.  In this case, every day is an audition for next season.  Bader, Mejia, and Kelly should be given their chance to show they are big league ready.  Stephen Piscotty should be kept in the lineup, with hopes that he can get his swing straightened out for next season.  Also, the young guys, in the bullpen, should be thrust into high leverage situations.  They are the best option anyway.  If the organization wants to concede 2017, they should make it known, and figure out what they have.

What this Means for Lance Lynn

Following the latest Cardinals’ roster moves, Lance Lynn has been very outspoken with his displeasure after Leake was shipped out, as they were known to be friends.  He also thought Leake was the teams best option.  Regardless, the Leake trade and Mozeliak’s comments have caused some to think Lynn will not return, for 2018.  If the Cards want to go all in on youth, Lynn probably will not be back.  In which case,  the Leake trade was just a precursor to this.  However, the trade did free up $38 million, which the team could use to help resign Lynn.  It may not be a bad idea to keep him around.  If nothing else, he will eat up around 200 innings, for the next few years. In a rotation full of rookies, that type of workload becomes invaluable.

Final Deduction

The discussed roster moves definitely fall in line with the youth movement.  However, the front office still has not given the fans, or the team, a cut and dry direction, for 2017.  First, they need to decide whether or not they are in the hunt. Then they need to let everyone in on their decision and play the team accordingly.

The latest Cardinals’ roster moves have been backing President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak’s comments, about bringing youth to the team, in 2018.