Left-handed pitching prospect Genesis Cabrera is about to bring his high-90s heat to St. Louis. The Cardinals will call up Cabrera for a start in Philadelphia on Wednesday, manager Mike Shildt told Josh Helmuth of KSDK News and other reporters Sunday.
This will be the first promotion to the majors for the 22-year-old Cabrera, who is already on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster. The former Rays farmhand is in his first full season with the Redbirds, having come over last July in a trade centering on outfielder Tommy Pham. Cabrera has since risen to Triple-A Memphis, where his inexperience has been on display this season, evidenced by 6.35 ERA/6.86 FIP with 8.85 K/9 and 4.31 BB/9 in 39 2/3 innings.
Despite his unimpressive numbers at the minors’ top level, the Cardinals have high hopes for Cabrera, and there’s bullishness from outside the organization. Thanks in part to a fastball that can reach 98 mph, Cabrera ranks as one of the Cardinals’ 15 best prospects at Baseball America (No. 6), MLB.com (No. 8) and FanGraphs (No. 14). However, those outlets agree Cabrera brings a “violent delivery” and “inconsistent” secondary offerings to the table, which could lead to a future as a reliever.
For now, the Cardinals are open to giving Cabrera multiple chances to stick in their rotation if he performs well Wednesday, according to Shildt. Losers of 16 of 22 and owners of a .500 record, the Cardinals need a boost – including in their rotation. The Redbirds have consistently run out the same five starters this year, which is about to change in the wake of the floundering Michael Wacha’s demotion to the bullpen.
Jack Flaherty is the lone Cardinals starter who has recorded above-average numbers on the season, though the grounder-heavy Dakota Hudson has limited opposing teams to three or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive outings. On the other hand, Miles Mikolas has taken steps backward since a star-caliber showing in 2018, and Adam Wainwright continues to distance himself from his halcyon days.