The Cardinals announced the following transactions this afternoon:
8/31/20: Optioned 1B John Nogowski to the ATS. Activated OF Lane Thomas from the COVID-19 Related IL. To make room for Thomas on the 40-man roster, transferred LHP Ricardo Sanchez from the 10-day IL to the 45-day IL. 40-man roster still full. CPP still at 55.
It’s a good thing we got Lane Thomas back. Together with Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill, he’s another outfielder than needs evaluation that won’t play so Tommy Edman can play left field and Dylan Carlson can every day. I can’t help but be sarcastic in this situation, but I just can’t abide both O’Neill and Bader being benched like this. O’Neill’s results weren’t showing up in his batting average, but in this small sample, his approach was much better, recognizing spin and cutting down on the strikeouts. Meanwhile, Bader is our best defender, and if you’re going to stick with the hot hand theory, he’s 3rd on the club in OBP, SLG, the leader in ISO, has a double digit walk rate and was tied with Paul Goldschmidt and Brad Miller for the club lead in doubles. Meanwhile, Edman still doesn’t walk and looked lost in left field last night.
End of rant. From a transaction standpoint, here’s what you need to know. Sanchez is out for the season, because he will have only spent 30 days on the IL by the time the regular season is over. His being transferred to the 45-day IL not only opened up a 40-man roster spot for Thomas to be added, but also cleared the last necessary spot on the Club Player Pool. The Cardinals only have 5 players left on the COVID-19 Related IL: Austin Dean, Ryan Helsley, Carlos Martinez, Rangel Ravelo and Kodi Whitley. The removal of Alvaro Seijas and the transfer of Sanchez to the 45-day IL, leaves just enough space on the CPP to accommodate all 5 players. Now that the trade deadline is over without the Cards making a move, the Cards will have to either release, try to outright or make some type of 45-day IL move with 5 more players to clear space on the 40-man roster for the 5 remaining players on the COVID-19 Related IL.
Tonight, your St. Louis Cardinal bench is Knizner, Bader, O’Neill and Thomas. Nogowski was optioned after only being on the roster for 2 days. I suppose the Cardinals will decide in the offseason whether we will have these same outfield questions next year that we have now.