The roster wheel keeps spinning. The Cardinals just announced the following transaction:
9/1/20: Optioned LHP Rob Kaminsky to the ATS. Activated RHP Ryan Helsley from the COVID-19 Related IL. To make room for Helsley on the 40-man, designated RHP Jesus Cruz for assignment. 40-man roster still full. CPP still at 55.
Helsley was only able to pitch twice before the Cards’ season stalled, throwing 2.2 IP of scoreless, hitless ball with no walks and 2 strikeouts. Kaminsky was initially added to the 40-man roster on August 15th, which is the day the Cards came back from quarantine. He pitched in 2 games in 3 days, and allowed no hits or walks over 2 IP while striking out 2 batters. He was optioned on August 18th so the Cards could add Jesus Cruz to the 40-man. Like John Nogowski, Kaminsky had been optioned despite being recalled on August 29th and not having pitched during his 2nd stint on the active roster
The Cards will try to pass Cruz through outright assignment waivers, and my guess is that he will clear. Cruz pitched one game for the Cards on August 18th. He was brought in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th and struck out Kyle Schwarber on a changeup. But when he came back in the following inning, he allowed 3 hits and 1 walk and 2 ER to go along with another strikeout. Cruz is an intriguing pitcher because in his 3-year minor league career, he’s struck out 31.3% of the batters he has faced. But he needs to work on his control as his career unintentional walk percentage of 12.5% attests. He only pitched 2 games at the AA level, essentially going straight from Palm Beach to Memphis last year, where in 50 games, he walked 15.6% of batters.
With the trade deadline gone, there is not much more relief pitching help to be had. Kodi Whitley is still unavailable because of elbow inflammation. My understanding it that Carlos Martinez will be put into a 6-man rotation when he returns, which could be by the weekend doubleheader. With Ricardo Sanchez now out for the year, the Cardinals have Kaminsky, Nabil Crismatt, Roel Ramirez and Junior Fernandez still on the 40-man. Andrew Miller is available to come off of the injured list on September 4th. Daniel Ponce de Leon is also available, but it has been reported that he will come back as the 29th man to make a start in the next doubleheader. The Cards still have to DFA 4 players to make room for the rest of the players on the COVID-19 Related IL. Any players optioned still have to remain on option for 10 days unless an injured move is made or unless they are added as the 29th man in a doubleheader.
So far in the “Who do you wanna DFA” game, our own J.P. Hill and reader Plowboy91 are in the lead. Both picked Alvaro Seijas and Cruz as DFA candidates. Neither picked Ricardo Sanchez as a roster trim, but no one could have predicted that he would be placed on the 45-day IL.
UPDATED ACTIVE ROSTER
Starters (5): Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, Kwang Hyun Kim (L), Johan Oviedo, Jack Flaherty
Relievers (10): Genesis Cabrera (L), Seth Elledge, Giovanny Gallegos, John Gant, Austin Gomber (L), Ryan Helsley, Ryan Meisinger, Alex Reyes, Tyler Webb (L), Jake Woodford
POSITION PLAYERS (13)
Catchers (2): Andrew Knizner, Yadier Molina
Infielders (6): Matt Carpenter (L), Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman (S), Paul Goldschmidt, Brad Miller (L), Kolten Wong (L)
Outfielders (5): Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson (S), Dexter Fowler (S), Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas