Transaction Analysis 7/16--Cards place Carpenter back on IL and recall Edmundo Sosa

This is frustrating for Carpenter, who is having an awful year at the plate. He strained his lower back on July 2, was placed on the 10-day IL, coming off the last day of the All-Star Break. Before July 2, he had sat out 4 games in a row to reset and work on his swing and then deal with a stomach virus. Last night, he fouled a ball off the top of his foot in the 7th inning, and Tommy Edman had to come in and finish the at-bat with a 3-2 count. X-rays and an MRI revealed no fracture, but Carpenter is having trouble walking and will be in a boot for several days. There’s no timetable for his return, and it’s unclear whether he will go on a rehab assignment.

Carpenter’s replacement is a little surprising. With him out, Tommy Edman and Yairo Munoz will handle the 3rd base. The Cards could always use some offense. Rangel Ravelo has been playing 3rd base in AAA since just being sent down, and he’s probably the best overall offensive option on the 40-man roster available. They could also stand to have a player on the roster who has actually played 1B that can give Goldschmidt a break every now and then. Instead, the Cards recalled IF Edmundo Sosa, who was the best defensive option available in the infield. He’s slashing .252/.304/.424 with 10 HR, and has seen an uptick in power the last couple of years. With DeJong set at shortstop for the future, Sosa has seen starts at 3B and 2B, including his natural SS position. Sosa is a free swinger, walking only around 4% of the time, compared to a 20% SO percentage, and doesn’t really have enough power to overcome that lack of patience. His overall offensive contributions have gotten worse every year he has advanced in the Cardinals chain, and he’s running a career low 73 wRC+ right now. His positional flexibility might give him a chance to stick in a utility job at some point, but he will be out of options after this season, and thus far has only played 3 career games in the majors. With Munoz and now Edman looking like they are ahead of him, he may be a DFA candidate in the off-season. They may just be doing this to get a look and see what Sosa can do, since Ravelo has already been here, but they could do better offensively, and Sosa doesn’t figure to play much anyway.