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Opening up a Cardinals 40-man roster spot

Let’s assume that the St. Louis Cardinals, weary from a hard-fought series against Cincinnati and coming off a 13-inning contest on Wednesday, need fresh arms. With four straight games immediately ahead against Kirk Gibson’s resurgent Arizona Diamondbacks, let’s assume that right-hander P.J. Walters is returned to the 40-man and 25-man active rosters.

There are candidates to be optioned out, with probably the easiest, though perhaps not most deserving, being Walters’ fellow Memphis rotation member for much of the season, Brandon Dickson. Dickson went 2 1/3 shutout innings Wednesday night against the Reds at Busch Stadium.

Walters, scheduled to start for Memphis in Round Rock Thursday evening, should offer that replacement fresh arm in long relief.

With the Cardinals’ 40-man roster full, however, how might they make room for Walters, who was removed from the 40-man less than six weeks ago, on May 28. Since then, the 26-year-old went 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA and fanned 34 in 34 1/3 June innings to be named The Cardinal Nation Pitcher of the Month.

Here are some of the 40-man possibilities. Vote for your preferred choice. Refer to the Cardinals organization Roster Matrix for details on who is where. On the Roster Matrix, 40-man players are bolded.

What 40-man roster move would you make?

  • Outright Memphis pitcher Bryan Augenstein (21%, 15 Votes)
  • Outright injured Palm Beach reliever Francisco Samuel (21%, 15 Votes)
  • Promote injured Memphis reliever Adam Reifer to St. Louis, then place him on 60-day disabled list (21%, 15 Votes)
  • Outright Memphis catcher Bryan Anderson (18%, 13 Votes)
  • Release St. Louis left-hander Trever Miller (10%, 7 Votes)
  • Designate for assignment left-hander Raul Valdes (7%, 5 Votes)
  • Outright Memphis right-hander Maikel Cleto (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Outright Memphis infielder Pete Kozma (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Outright Memphis outfielder Andrew Brown (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other/no opinion (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 72

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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90 Responses to “Opening up a Cardinals 40-man roster spot”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Why would anyone advocate outrighting Bryan Augenstein? He would never clear waivers. He was a good pitcher before he was injured and just needs time to get back to form. It really irritates me the extent to which Cardinals fans are willing to just toss out a player who is not performing. Cardinals fans have the aggregate attention span of a gnat.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Every time is different, but last year, Augenstein made it all the way through waivers to St. Louis. It is a legitimate option, IMO.

      I look at this in terms of who is easiest replaced, though there is also expense involved in the release of a Miller or a callup of a Reifer (or Samuel). I did not make that clear above for the voters.

      If I may ask, how did you vote, crdswmn?

      • crdswmn says:

        Last year was different. He pitched well in ST and in St. Louis until he was injured. More exposure equals better chances of getting picked up off waivers, imo.

        I look at it in terms of moves that can be made without losing players. Putting Reifer on DL is my vote. Of course I am always willing to spend other people’s money lavishly. 🙂

        • Brian Walton says:

          The Reifer (or Samuel) call up is least disruptive as an apparent “paperwork” move. It would cost major league service time and major league salary during the 60-day DL stint, though. I consider that to have low odds on the realism scale.

          As an aside, when I post these polls, I always ponder how to word the question.

          What do you think the Cardinals will do?
          What would you do?

          This time, I took the latter. As your example indicates, the answers can be very different depending on the perspective…

          • crdswmn says:

            Well if risking a player loss is the only realistic option, I would much rather risk Anderson than Augenstein. We have adequate depth at catcher, whereas losing a decent arm is never acceptable in my book.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Well, that is only my guess. I could easily be proven wrong.

              • Kansasbirdman says:

                Imho, I think Miller is on the decline, he may have the ability to still get a single batter out in a matchup situatiin but TLR uses him for a full inning at times. If he isn’t going to use him as a specialist I say time to go

              • AustinCardinal says:

                Brian, is it not an option to cut ties with Tallet? I see no reason to keep him around. We have less terrible LOOGY’s to blow games now.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Now that I could get on board with.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  I don’t know for sure if a player on the DL can be released. I guess so, since he is paid either way, though it would affect service time perhaps. May also affect medical coverage. Probably some examples out there to help answer this.

                  My gut says they would have released him by now if they were planning to so do anytime soon.

                  • CariocaCardinal says:

                    Can’t release the player on the DL. Can’t release him if he is injured instead of placing him on the DL. The first one wouldn’t even be approved by the Commissioners office and the penalty for the second one is generally reinstitution of pay and service time as well as medical bills (upon appeal).

            • Bw52 says:

              Crdswmn-we agree on something.Anderson has been passed by Cruz on the depth .With a bit of luck Anderson would pass thru waivers unclaimed.

              • AustinCardinal says:

                I can’t believe people would rather have a terrible replacement pitcher (who, by the way, was not good this year in St. Louis) than a third string catcher. Do people not see the value that Tony Cruz is bringing to St. Louis? That is Bryan Anderson’s role right now and next year for the Cardinals.

                And anyone who thinks that Anderson would make it through waivers is high.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Well if Anderson is the Cardinals’ future catcher they are in deep doo doo.

                  • AustinCardinal says:

                    He is the Cardinal’s future third string catcher. And he is better at catching than Augenstein is at pitching, so I don’t see what you’re so fired up about.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      You like Anderson, I don’t. Not fired up, just expressing an opinion. I got the same flak when I kept insisting Tyler Greene was no good.

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      It’s not that I think that Anderson is so great. I just think that third catcher is more valuable than a guy who is going to be, at best, 4th in line in Memphis to come help in St. Louis as a reliever (behind Dickson, Cleto, and Walters).

                      Who do you call up to catch if Yadi or Cruz get hurt tomorrow?

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      I forgot to mention that Augenstein would be 4th in line once Sanchez is back in St. Louis.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Stephen Hill

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      Hill is not a Major League catcher, and I would place a bet now that he will never start a game for St. Louis as a catcher. He might serve as an emergency catcher on ML bench someday, but he is not going to fill the role that Cruz is playing now. There is more to catching than hitting.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      I would take Cruz over Hill, but that was not your premise. I agree there is more to catching than hitting which is why I would pick Hill over Anderson, whose defensive skills are very mediocre at best.

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      Are you claiming that Hill is the superior defensive catcher to Anderson?

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Yes, I am. And before you start throwing numbers at me, I was bombarded with Tyler Greene’s numbers ad nauseum too. Numbers only tell part of the story, my eyes tell me the rest. It is my opinion, nothing more.

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      I am in no position to disagree with you. I am just surprised that you have come to a conclusion that varies so wildly with what the Cardinals have come to. If Hill had a future as a guy who could be a #2 catcher, he would have stuck at catcher his whole career.

                      I am happy, though, to see that opinion. I like Hill a lot.

                    • CariocaCardinal says:

                      crdswmn – how many times have you seen Hill catch? Have you ever heard what pitchers who pitch to him have to say about him as a catcher? There was a reason he was moved off of catching for a few seasons in search of another position.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      No CC I haven’t heard what pitchers say. I am not in a position to know that. I don’t claim to be an expert, I just claim to have an opinion. I have seen both Hill and Anderson catch and I like Hill better, that is all. Frankly, I hope we never see either of them in St. Louis.

                • Bw52 says:

                  Yeah i see all those teams trying to pry him away from the Cards.Not one iota of a rumor concerning Bryan Anderson has been see anywhere lately that i have seen.

                  • AustinCardinal says:

                    So a lack of rumors means a lack of value? Point me to the rumors about teams trying to pry Augenstein from the Cardinals. I must have missed those.

                    • Bw52 says:

                      So now everyone knows you like Anderson.Good for you.Why not wait and see what the Cards do before getting upset.Others don`t share your opinion of Andersons value..

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      I just don’t want the team to be forced to sign a vet next year to be their backup (or 3rd) catcher. I’d like to see them use the kids and see what they can do. Cruz is exceeding expectations. Many kids do.

                      It’s not that I value Anderson more than you do. It is that I value the 3rd catcher more than I value the 12th bullpen arm. So do most, I would imagine.

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      Bw52 says: Why not wait and see what the Cards do before getting upset.Others don`t share your opinion of Andersons value..

                      Well, I guess the Cardinals share my opinion.

              • crdswmn says:

                Break out the champagne. 🙂

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      If Augenstein is not 100% he shouldn’t have come off the DL (he’d be on the 60 day DL and the problem would be solved). Since he has been off the DL for a couple of weeks I will assume the Cards think he is 100% healthy and thus it is a question of perfromance. If he was performing, he would get the call insteadof PJ. Since he is not performing well even though declared healthy I would have no trouble risking him to waivers. He is probably about 50/50 to clear and I while I’d like to keep him won’t cry if he is lost. My guess is that he gets removed from the 40 man roster in the off season either way. He will be out of options next year and with the emergance of Lynn, Sanchez, Salas, Dickson, etc. would be an extreme long shot to make the team.

      • AustinCardinal says:

        Exactly. Augenstein is just too far down the depth chart to be worried about, and there is no way he sticks around next year (unless on a minor league contract). There just isn’t much value there now that he is behind Valdez, Sanchez, Salas, Walters, Dickson, and Lynn (all of which he started the year ahead of) on the organizational depth chart, I just don’t see much value.

      • crdswmn says:

        By the way, I want it to be noted that my initial response was to outrighting Augenstein versus putting Reifer on the DL, not versus outrighting Anderson. I said I preferred not risking either of them, but Brian seemed to think that was not realistic (probably because of cost). I have just become sick of the constant knee jerk reaction by Cardinals fans to 86 any Cardinal player who is not performing to their lofty expectations (i.e. Colby).

        • AustinCardinal says:

          Are there people who want to get rid of Colby? That is nuts – I agree with you there.

          But to compare a fringy middle reliever with a potential star CF seems a little out of whack to me.

          As for the choice on Reifer, that comes down to the service time issue, I would think, more than the money. I think they know he is going to be a very valuable member of the pen, perhaps as soon as next year. Those guys are definitely ones that you want to have under team control as long as possible.

          • crdswmn says:

            Apparently you aren’t on Twitter or read the comments on the PD. The amount of Colby hatred is enormous. Not a day goes by that hordes of people are not screaming to trade Colby.

            I am not comparing Augenstein to Colby, I just used that as an example of the irrationality of many Cardinals fans.

  2. T8Ball says:

    Hey all……..I’m hearing that David Freese tweeted that PJ was added……..anyone confirm?

  3. Brian Walton says:

    Thursday’s lineup. Check out the #2 hitter.

    Theriot, ss; Freese, 3b; Pujols, 1b; Holliday, lf; Berkman, rf; Molina, c; Punto, 2b; Jay, cf; McClellan, p.

    • crdswmn says:

      Why is it that Colby is the only player punished for hitting slumps?

      • T8Ball says:

        Punished? That’s rather strong and presumptuous, no?

        After 4k’s the night before wouldn’t anyone normally sit to regather themselves?

        • crdswmn says:

          Name me another player who is “sat” to gather themselves on a regular basis after a bad game like Colby is. There isn’t one. And yes it is punishment to a young player who is expected to be an everyday player. It is not good for them mentally.

          • Brian Walton says:

            i think this is overexaggerated by some. Last season, Rasmus missed just 18 of 162 games. Only Pujols and Holliday played more. This season, he has missed even fewer games, five out of 88 so far. 83 games played is second-most on the team.

            The other night, when reviewing the lineup, it stood out to me that Rasmus had the lowest batting average of the eight position player starters. Play better and he will play even more.

            • crdswmn says:

              It isn’t the number of games, it is the reason for them. Sitting him to rest him is fine but when that sitting is immediately preceded by some poor performance, then that tells me a message is being sent. A message that is not sent to other players that have bad games.

              • Brian Walton says:

                I f I was a manager, I would sit a player after a bad game instead of resting him when he is hitting well. Everything with Rasmus is micro-analyzed. Unless TLR has been quoted with a reason for giving Rasmus a night off, your comments are only speculation.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Yes it is speculation. And the next time Freese or Molina or some other starting player has a bad game and is benched the next day you can remind me of it. 🙂

                  • Brian Walton says:

                    OK. Freese did not start yesterday after going 1-for-10 over his previous three games. Why didn’t anyone complain about his “benching”?

                    Likely Yadi will sit one day this weekend for Laird no matter what he does the game before.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Freese did not have a bad game the night before and is one week removed from the DL.

                      I have to leave now or I’d expand a little more. 🙂

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Sigh. If you summarily disregard Freese because he was recently injured, why did you suggest him?

                    • AustinCardinal says:

                      I am curious to see this grassy knoll theory fleshed out. Especially since Rasmus seems to play as much as anyone on the team.

                    • blingboy says:

                      It might just be a defense move. If Colby’s bat is cold, there’s no reason to play him over Jay.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Freese was a bad example. My fault for using him.

                      Look, my perspective may be skewed. It wouldn’t be the first time. It is just the way it appears to me. When your manager responds to a reporter’s question about why you are out of the lineup with “Let the other guy play”, it raises questions in my mind, that is all. I have never heard such a gruff response about any other player’s absence.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Rasmus hit .213 in June and is hitting .174 in July.

  4. T8Ball says:

    Brian, any word on Laird’s return? This weekend? Today?

  5. Kansasbirdman says:

    My question is… Is TLR going to keep using Miller as a multiple batter reliever (not quite a long reliever) instead of as a lefty specialist playing matchup with one batter? It seems he is having trouble getting through 2/3 of an inning, he seems to do well getting the first out., but has trouble closing out a full inning lately

  6. Kansasbirdman says:

    My question is-Think TLR will continue to use Miller as a multiple batter reliever instead of as a specialist/matchup? Lately he seems to get the first out but struggles with the second and third batters. We seem to need another loogy (I am not convinced Tallet is the guy), but lately TLR has not seemed to be playing the matchups with Miller. Is he wanting a longer inning lefty in the BP?

  7. Kansasbirdman says:

    Have I been banned? Brian, I have tried not to cause too much trouble.

  8. Kansasbirdman says:

    Wanted to reiterate that I was very encouraged by the game last night. The team kept battling, the young guys and bench guys came through with timely hitting and stingy pitching and the team kept battling instead of giving up. Plus the runs weren’t all the result of HR’s. That bodes well for a team looking for success in the postseason.

  9. blingboy says:

    Putting PJ back on the 40 man caught me by surprise. If we see him out of the pen, he may look different. Might add a few mph. I don’t know what kind of pen experience he has in the minors.

  10. CariocaCardinal says:

    It’s sad that DP’s by Pujols have become so common this year that no one comments on them anymore.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Tomorrow’s blog post….

      • crdswmn says:

        Beware Jumbo’s wrath. 😉

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        I’m sure the numbers will show his are up, as are the teams, but I think they are even more “noticeable” I guess you would say with AP because we are used to expecting so much and his other numbers are a little down so his struggles seem exacerbated. When he is up and guys are on base we are expecting rbis like we are used to. Interesting theory by hrabosky is that the cards have had so many dps because we have had so many people on base -the other byproduct being we have scored a bunch of runs this year, I think we are near the lead in nl for runs too. For me there is no better relief when we are on D as getting a dp and no greater crushing blow/dashing hope as hitting into one on O. It happens so fast.

  11. crdswmn says:

    Good God. A fan who fell in Rangers Stadium tonight died from the fall. He was leaning over a railing to catch a foul ball tossed to him by Josh Hamilton. The man’s little boy was standing next to him. What a tragedy.

    • Leebo says:

      That was horrible, the railing was kind of short and he flipped over it and landed behind the out field wall, about a 20 foot drop is what I read. A freak accident with tragic consequences. Hamilton is understandably very shaken as are several other players. The thought of his son witnessing such a thing is horrifying. Very upsetting.

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