Breaking TA 7/30/22: Exchanging cards with Sosa to loosen the depth, remember DeJong and Dak are back

The cards have brought back vulnerable players and just announced a new deal today:

7/28/22: IF Corey Spangenberg, selected as a surrogate for COVID-19 infection, has been returned to AAA Memphis. C Ivan Herrera and Conner Capel, who were added as a surrogate for COVID-19 infection, are back at AAA Memphis. Activators C Austin Romine, 3B Nolan Arenado and 1B Paul Goldschmidt are from the restricted list. The list of 40 men is now full.

The rules allowed the cards to remove Spangenberg from the 40-man list without placing him in concessions, and also allowed the club to bring Herrera and Capel back to Memphis without using one of the five allowed options this season.

7/30/22: IF Edmundo Sosa traded to Philadelphia Phyllis for LHP JoJo Romero, and his appointment to AAA Memphis. The list of 40 men is still full. Retrieved from SS Paul DeJong of AAA Memphis. RHP James Naile selected to AAA Memphis. RHP Dakota Hudson activation of IL for 15 days.

Edmundo Sosa has been in the Cardinal Organization for what seems like forever. He was signed for future service as a free international agent outside of Panama when he was 16, and set out when he was 17 with the Dominican Summer Card Club. He was added to the 40-player roster in November 2016 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and after 11 games with a major league team in 2018 and 2019 combined, he had already exhausted all three of the traditional minor league options. It turns out he was eligible for a fourth minor league option for the 2020 season. The cards picked him in Spring 2020 training before the pandemic canceled the rest of the spring and delayed the start of the 2020 season until July.

Sosa made the 2020 Opening Day roster because Brad Miller was on the injured list. Sosa did not participate in the first five matches of the season, then the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in the club, which led to the postponement of many of the Cardinal’s matches. This outbreak claimed Sosa was a victim, and was placed in COVID-19-related IL on August 4. Sosa was activated from COVID-19 Related IL on August 27 and selected to the alternate training site, but he did not return to the active roster that season and was excluded from the post-season roster.

There was clamor in the 2021 season that either Max Moroff or Jose Rondon, uninvited uninvited into spring training, would knock Sosa off the roster by the end of spring training, but it just didn’t happen. Sosa rarely played in the first month and a half of the 2021 season. But on May 11, 2021, Freddy Peralta hit Paul DeJong in the side with a change, and DeJong will appear on the injured list three days later. Sosa took charge at the start, stunned his defence, and showed a remarkable ability to strike by the pitches. DeJong was activated on June 11 and returned to the squad. At the time, the Sosa had a .270/.369/.360 slash. With 6 walks to 20 strokes, he hits with eight pitches. As a beginner, Sosa cut .286/.375/.390 on an 88 PA with a .350 BABIP. On the other hand, DeJong cut .177/.277/.371 as a start, with .176 BABIP and 7 homers on 141 trips to the plate. At this point, Tommy Addiction was playing a lot on the right field and Matt Carpenter and his slash line .184/.319/.337 He still saw a long time at second base. In mid-August of 2021, DeJong had to rest for a few days with a tight back, and by the end of August, he had lost his short job to Sosa. Sosa wasted some time with wrist issues during September, but recovered and started a wild card match against the Dodgers.

DeJong hit 19 in 2021, but cut .197/.284/.390, he only had .216 BABIP, far less than anything he’s ever done. Sosa, on the other hand, cuts .271/.346/.389. Sosa didn’t show much strength and didn’t walk much either, but he did show uncanny speed and excellent defense in a nutshell. There has been a lot of discussion in the community that Sosa might actually be the best option going forward in a nutshell, given the nature of the card staff presentation. However, both the front office and the new manager thought the best 2022 Cardinals would be DeJong as the starting point. However, DeJong found himself selected for AAA Memphis on May 10, 2022, after posting a .130/.209/.208 slash and a 30% strike rate with no corresponding power.

At the time of DeJong’s selection, Sosa was on COVID-19 Related IL. When he came back, he played for a little while but found himself day in and day out with an ankle injury. After Sosa returned to full strength, the club decided not to make him a full-time short-term player. Instead, Tommy Edman went from second to second and promoted Nolan Gorman to take on the second base job against the right-hand throw. Sosa became a short platoon and, since May 15, has started narrowly in every match against left-handed starter shooters except for two. He also had sporadic starts in a short time or three when Addiction or Nolan Arenado broke. In all, he has cut .189/.244/.270 this season over 25 short starts and 6 third starts. He’s only walked about 3% of the time, and his strike rate is 29%, his career-high when he’s played for the long haul.

Meanwhile, DeJong cut .249/.313/.552 with 17 homers over 230 trips to the plate with the AAA Memphis. I’ll talk about Sosa’s return a bit later, but I agree with JP when he said this trade was just to open up a place for DeJong. Sosa has always been known to be a great player who can pick him in short, third and second. But before DeJong was selected, coach Oli Marmol defended DeJong’s start in short with his low offensive production due to his good defense. Fans and metrics disagree about DeJong’s defense, but Sosa hasn’t been very good in a part-time role, and when DeJong is right, he’s superior to Sosa in attack, especially in the energy department. DeJong is far more valuable than Sosa as an option off the bench, assuming DeJong has recovered from a stroke. There is still a lot we don’t know about how DeJong is used. Tonight against a right-wing starting player, the cards decided to put Gorman in the DH, start DeJong short, and then slip Edman into second place. Is DeJong now the starting point and our new Gorman DH against the right, or will DeJong be a short platoon like Sosa and start mostly against the left going forward? Or is Gorman going to be part of a huge business coming up with a certain team in a certain town that isn’t part of the 50 states? Is Brendan Donovan a bench player now? We just don’t know. For now, it’s safe to assume that the club wanted DeJong to play and decided to offload Sosa, who is out of the minor league options, for something that might help the club a bit. And the club didn’t want to pick Brendan Donovan because – you guys, check your reports, or I’m going to point to Pete – he’s on the norm. Since Sosa isn’t a sure thing to make the roster next season, it would have been better to get a player potentially useful to him now than to forgo the $50,000 price tag later.

Another thing to note about DeJong is contract status and service time. DeJong signed a 6-year contract extension worth $26 million before the 2018 season that locked him in until the 2023 season. He’s making $6 million this year and is set to make $9 million next year. The club also has a $12.5 million option for 2024 with a $2 million purchase, and a $15 million option for 2025 with a $1 million purchase. This is very expensive for the backup player, but there is no way the cards could get anything for DeJong in the trade unless they pay a cash amount. DeJong also had 4 years and 160 days of Major League service before today. If he is on the active roster for another 12 days this season, he will have 5 years of service, which means he can no longer be sent to the minor leagues, either by express or voluntary appointment with his consent. This ultimately means that he has the right to say “Fuck you, pay me.” The 5-year-old has the right to refuse both the option and the express appointment. He also has the right to elect free agency if he is divorced, but the right to refuse is better. If the player chooses free agency, he forfeits his salary with no termination pay. But a player in DeJong’s boot at the 5-year mark can tell. “I won’t go to the minor leagues, but I also don’t choose free agency, so damn you, and pay me. You can also release me, but you still have to pay me. Or you can trade me, in which case, someone else still has to to pay me.” The bottom line is that before long, if DeJong falters in the majors again, the cards will at best be stuck with an expensive backup for the rest of this year, or worse, you’ll be in trouble for another $12 million after this season while watching it. He plays for another club in the lower league.

The return of Sosa to the leftist Jojo Romero. Romero was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft by Phillies of Junior College in Arizona. The club paid him an $800,000 signing bonus, which was $242,400 on the slot. A regular fixture in his minor league career, he won Phillies AA Reading Player of the Year in 2018, despite suffering a tilting injury at the end of the season in late July of that year. Romero 2019 was considered a step back, as he had problems walking and running the house. Transferred to the Bullpen during the 2019 Arizona Fall League campaign, he was pressed into service with the Phillies in mid-August of 2020 as the club struggled with COVID issues and misfortune. His Fastball jumped a few ticks in the process. He has kept opponents uninjured and goalless in 6 of his 12 appearances, including his first 4 rounds, but has beaten the tune of 375 BABIP overall.

Romero was selected to start the 2021 season, but was called up on April 11. His stint was short-lived, as he was only able to play in 11 games before he entered the injured list on May 6 and underwent Tommy John’s surgery on May 25. While he was in good health, he kept the ball low, but his gait increased and allowed 4 hurdlers in just 9 runs. Romero opened the 2022 season on the 60-day injured list again, began a series of rehabilitation assignments on June 14 this year, and was activated on July 15. He did well in the July 16 match, but in his next round on July 22, he let out 4 of the seven hitters he faced, including Homer and gave up 3 winning runs in one round. He was chosen two days later. He has only had one AAA outing since this option, and that was yesterday, when he only made a third of the inning.

Although Romero has thrown five pitches over the years, he has practically given up his four-stitch and pass slider, and is trying to keep the ball hanging down using a sinker/changing combination with a cross cutter. At one point, a mid-level who thought he was either a back-end apprentice or a multi-role connoisseur could have been more to me than just a LOOGY. But he hasn’t even done a decent job of knocking out the right hand since 2018, and now that he’s out of Tommy John surgery, it’s not known what we should expect. The good news is that he has only burnt one option from the minor leagues so far, so the club could rule him out this year and next to see what he has in store.

Finally, Dakota Hudson returns from the injured list to start tonight’s game. This gives the cards 4 turns and a pen 9 men. James Neale was selected for AAA Memphis to make room. Hudson fought a minor league rehab start for the Memphis AAA on July 24, where he made 5 runs, walked 3 hits, hit 6, threw 2 wilds and allowed 5 hits and ran one.

rotation

Wainwright, Micholas, Hudson, Plant

bull barn

Cabrera (left), Fernandez, Gallegos, Hillsley, Hicks, McFarland (left), Naughton (left), Oviedo, Thompson (left)

seat

Romain, Dickerson, Gorman/Dejong?, Pujols/Notbar/Donovan?

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