Playoff baseball is only a few hours away. I’m going to close out the Cardinal transaction series this season with the rest of the moves following September 5th. That will help everyone understand how the roster ultimately took its shape.
9/7/22: Placed OF Dylan Carlson on the 10-day IL (left thumb sprain). Selected the contract of OF Alec Burleson from AAA Memphis. To make room on the 40-man roster, designated OF Conner Capel for assignment. 40-man roster still full. Noted the loss of RHP Junior Fernandez on an outright assignment waiver claim.
9/9/22: Noted the loss of OF Conner Capel to the Oakland Athletics on an outright assignment waiver claim.
9/10/22: Optioned RHP James Naile to AAA Memphis. Recalled LHP Packy Naughton from AAA Memphis.
9/17/22: Placed OF Tyler O’Neill on the 10-day IL (left hamstring strain). Activated OF Dylan Carlson from the 10-day IL. Added RHP Dakota Hudson as the 29th man for today’s doubleheader, and returned him to AAA Memphis after Game 2. After Game 1 of the doubleheader, placed RHP Jordan Hicks on the 15-day IL (right arm fatigue/neck spasms). Activated LHP Steven Matz from the 15-day IL.
9/19/22: Optioned 2B/DH Nolan Gorman to AAA Memphis. Recalled DH/OF Juan Yepez from AAA Memphis
9/21/22: Optioned LHP Packy Naughton to AAA Memphis. Recalled RHP Dakota Hudson from AAA Memphis.
10/3/22: Signed RHP Giovanny Gallegos to a 2-year, $11 million contract extension, with a club option for 2025.
10/5/22: Optioned RHP Dakota Hudson and LHP JoJo Romero to AAA Memphis. Activated RHP Jordan Hicks from the 15-day IL. Recalled LHP Matthew Liberatore from AAA Memphis.
*Burleson destroyed AAA to the tune of a .331/.372/.532 slash line in 109 games (albeit with a .350 BABIP), so the Cards made the decision to set Capel aside. In a small sample, Burleson had only two extra base hits in 53 trips to the plate, one of which was a homer off a position player. When Dylan Carlson came off of the IL, the club initially platooned Burleson and Carlson, but Burleson’s playing time slowly grinded to a halt. Reports are that he’s off the postseason roster.
*Gorman provided some flashes with the long ball, but his overall line had a 32.9% strikeout rate and a .226/.300/.420 triple slash, which was paired with poor defense at the keystone. After the break, Gorman hit .207/.273/.388, struck out 35.6% of the time, and struggled mightily with high fastballs. Still a promising season for the youngster, and reports are that he has been added back to the playoff roster as a power bat off the bench.
*Carlson only hit .207/.294/.339 against right-handed pitching this season. The club is trying to attribute his struggles in that area to injuries, but that line is not that far off from his career line against righties of .225/.307/.380. He had been platooned, but slowly captured the rest of the playing time as the season winded down.
*Having been optioned on October 5th, Hudson and Romero have to stay away from the club for 15 days under the new rules. The 16th day would place their possible return date in the middle of the NLCS. This means that Hudson and Romero are ineligible for the playoffs until a possible World Series. Marmol gave Hudson a look, but his outing against the Pirates on October 4th, where he allowed 9 hits and 7 earned runs in 2.2 IP likely sealed his exit from the playoff picture. Romero showed some nice heat from the left side, but the Cards have several lefty options already who haven’t walked almost 15% of the batters they’ve faced this season.
*The Gallegos deal buys out his final two arbitration years, and the first year of free agency. Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus, and salaries of $4.5 million and $5.5 million for the 2023 and 2024 seasons, respectively. There’s also a $6.5 million club option for 2025, with a $500,000 buyout. The 2025 option increases by $500,000 at each of 20, 26 and 31 games finished in 2024, and increases by $1 million at each of 36 and 41 games finished in 2024. The club option for 2025 could thus be for as much as $10 million.