The Cardinals have optioned outfielder Harrison Bader, per the MLB.com transactions page (h/t Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Twitter links). Lane Thomas will come up to take over for the struggling 25-year-old, per the Dispatch’s Rick Hummel.
This is a disappointing moment for Bader, who turned in a strong 2018 effort but has fallen off quite a bit this year. Through 260 trips to the plate this season, he’s slashing a meager .195/.309/.339 with six home runs. Bader has actually made more hard contact than he did last year and is identified by Statcast numbers as a positive regression candidate. On the other hand, those figures also suggest his 2018 output was due in some part to good fortune on batted balls.
There’s still long-term value here if the Cards — or another team — believe that Bader can figure things out at the plate. He has boosted his walk rate to 11.2%, helping to offset a lofty 28.1% strikeout rate, but there’s work to be done. Importantly, defensive metrics still love Bader’s glovework. He’s curiously grading poorly on the bases despite maintaining excellent speed, though perhaps that’s just a blip.
Notably, by optioning Bader today, the Cards will keep him shy of reaching a full year of MLB service. He’s sitting at 1.161 years at present, meaning he’s eleven days shy of passing a new threshold.
Thomas had previously popped up in trade rumors. Instead, he’ll be installed — at least temporarily — as a piece of the MLB outfield mix for a club that has ever intention of making a run at the NL Central title. Thomas is capable of lining up at all three outfield spots, making him a flexible piece for the Cards.
The 23-year-old Thomas debuted earlier this season but only received a brief run in a reserve role. He has spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A, where he’s again turning in solid results at the plate. Through 304 plate appearances, the right-handed hitter carries a .268/.352/.460 slash with ten long balls.
Good he has been doing awful
Good move. He needs to figure out his plate approach again.
He has power, blazing speed, a strong accurate throwing arm, terrific outfield awareness, but like many young hitters has fallen into some serious bad habits. Will he figure it out this month in AAA, who knows? Next year? Again who knows. But when you have all the other attributes he possesses, plus his hard-working reputation, and the support of teammates and coaches,who all love. his personality, my guess he will figure out some things. But I support and expected this move. Time to regroup for Harrison. Good Luck!
If I recall, didn’t one of the broadcasters state that they made adjustments to Bader at the plate since last season?
Edmonds worked with Bader a lot this spring.
Correct, but it is hard to put the pieces together at the big league level, especially when playing time is reduced.
And it’s really hard to get playing time when you’re a black hole in the lineup…
Well said Spud..
About time, Cardinals trying to save face after trading Tommy Pham!
surprised its Thomas and not Arozerena, or however you spell it
I think its lane cause arozarena isnt on the 40? I could ne wrong though
Exactly…like really wtf…he just hit a cycle in triple A…an ops over 1.000…what more does the guy have to do
But Thomas had a 3 homer game a day or 2 ago. and Arozarena isn’t on the 40 man.
Besides, Arozarena is better off getting everyday at bats in AAA rather than riding the MLB bench at this point.
It’s because Arozarena isn’t on the 40 man
Finally!!! This help both him and the team.
I’m just dreading the post that says Matt Carpenter returns to kill all offensive momentum
I am waiting for the post the Cardinals have traded Matt Carpenter for a bucket of baseballs and some cash.
Hopefully they just hold him down until he finds his swing again. No sense in rushing him back if he isn’t able to contribute.
I agree he ness to go don and get his swing back, but how many of you guys have tried to hit a 95 mph fastball? I’m sure some of the same ones that are some of the same ones that were ready to dump Fowler and keep Bader! Give the kid a break!
Wil Myers for Harrison Bader.
Change of scene trade. Similar skill sets. Both have terrific speed.Both looking awful.
Except one is making rookie minimum and the other is one of the most overpaid in the sport based on production
And Myers doesn’t have anywhere near Bader’s speed or defense. And Bader is younger, with options.
Myers is extremely fast, maybe not the defense of Bader but much more pop. Pads pay down some salary and this is an even swap
He isn’t anywhere near as fast as Bader, he has Buxton speed.
Myers has speed, maybe not the equivalent of Bader’s but Myers has a ton more power.
Myers has been a defensive liability for a while now, so that’s not a real convincing argument…
Facts are such buzzkills, I know
stan lee the manly
Bader has the potential to be better than he has been based on his age and past performance. Myers does not. This is a truly god-awful proposition.
You realize he’s probably some 12 year old sitting in front of MLB 19 the show right now right? Or a troll, either way, the Myers for Bader trade doesn’t even deserve a response.
This was the right move. U cant allow position plays batting sub .200.
Hopefully he’ll figure things out and be back up in a few weeks, with a vengeance at the plate.
Would rather see a Jon Jay take that roster spot after given up some average A prospect.
Jon Jay. The only .300+ hitter with a -0.6 WAR. HE SUCKS and has SUCKED for years.
That’s only because his defense has fallen off a cliff, plus WAR heavily overrates defense for non-catchers in the first place. He’s still an on base machine with an overall league average bat, and when he was in his prime he was a very valuable player.
Jay was never a good fielder. Never. This OBP MACHINE is such a joke too. He’s a flair hitter who inflates his OBP by getting his fat azz hit by pitches. WAR works the same for every player. -0.6. He sucks. Quit defending a stiff.
Amazing to have a 1.2 war while having a .648 ops and 73 ops+
That’s just proof that defense and baserunning are overrated by WAR.
WAR is used by every front office in baseball. None of it is overrated. I’ll take a .230 hitter with power over a .300 hitter who can’t hit the ball farther than 225 feet and runs like a 3 toed sloth. Bader is neither. Jay is the 3 toed sloth with no power.
I don’t know much about this kid Bader other than what I’ve seen watching him periodically over the last year and a half. Looks like he’s got a good glove in center and a decent bat given the chance. If I’m not mistaken, hasn’t Cardinals fan over the last year been saying this guy is the next Stan Musial? Am I wrong?
You’re wrong..there’s only one Stan Musial
You are wrong. In fact I haven’t heard anyone say anybody is the next Stan the Man. Bader’s biggest issue is contact. The league outpaced his development. He never posted flashy offensive numbers in the minors, but because he can do everything else exceptionally, when his AAA numbers got into the pretty good category he was brought up, and he got off to a hot start. But he got to be overmatched, to much thinking, fewer game opportunities, and the pressure of knowing if he couldn’t produce he had viable replacements at the Big League level. He will be back in September, cause of his speed, defense, and decent numbers against lefties. Hopefully, he can figure some things out in the next month.
Hahaha! Ok, I must be mistaken! Good luck with Zac Rosscup!
Now if we can just package up Bader and Carpenter for “Thor”
Why did the Cardinals give away Oscar Mercado? He’s pretty good.
A Cleveland Indians fan
Because he was blocked. O’Neill, Arozarena, Thomas, Garcia and Carlson. Glad to see he is doing well in Cleveland, and the parts they got back in Capel and Torres are highly thought of pieces in return. Plus Mercado is right-handed.
Because the Cardinals have Mozeliak.
Trades haven’t really been his thing.
Bad trades are Mo’s thing.
It’s hard to get to caught up on some of those trades just yet – but I do think it definitely safe to say that his FA approach is god awful.
There is no reason he should be struggling against lefties this bad. .214/.344/.338 against righties isn’t good, but it’s nearly playable considering his defense.
Is he the one who’s the next Mike Trout?
Only if you think so.
Bader was a tool most annoying player since Eric Brynes.
Always Always love to see bad news for the Cardinals
Speaking of bad news, isn’t that last place I see the Pirates in today. Bummer, especially knowing All-Star Meadows, American League Cy Young candidate until injury, Glasnow, and promising pitcher Baz, who seems to be turning the corner, no longer sport your moniker colors, but he one can always bask in a 4 1/3 outing of 4 runs or better Archer. And who was it that just swept…, but heh,enough bad Pirate news.
Chip meet shoulder.
stan lee the manly
Black meet kettle
Black meet kettle? Makes no sense at all, but then I considered the source and just laughed.
I don’t know Nick, it was pretty easy to make sense of what he was saying for me. It doesn’t really take a genius to see that.
C’mon Mr. Al Avila and get Harrison Bader now while he’s possibly available.
‘positive regression candidate’ wtf?
It means they expect him to get better results in the future, based on current exit velocity, launch angle, walk rate, K rate, etc. Statistics imply he has been unlucky with the bat this year.
I know what was implied. Nonsensical in my opinion.
I read it as the opposite…as in he was positive to regress… past production did not seem viable
Tell me Justin Williams couldn’t have been designated to make room for Randy A. Wtf?
No way they DFA Williams after less than a year in the org, hand injury and struggles aside.
He’s a 4th outfielder at best, because of his defensive ability. If he can get back to hitting .260 he has a chance to have a decent career.
Dustin fowler for harrison bader, a couple of youngish outfielders that could use a change of scenery.
Except Fowler has never shown that he can play anywhere near what Bader has shown. And AAA stats don’t count toward MLB stats. He’s not getting traded unless its for Thor. You can probably take that to the bank, and I doubt they’d move Bader for Thor, but they might. They won’t trade him for Fowler. Fowler hasn’t even seen the scenery in Oakland yet, why does he need a change of it?
stan lee the manly
If they could trade Bader for Boyd straight up, they would take that trade
who is Thor?
Great Center fielder!! Fantastic Speed!! It’s horrible he can’t hit the curve ball. He’s a sucker for the slider away hand the high fast ball. Hope he gets his hitting lined out, but it is doubtful. At this rate, his only value is a defensive replacement in Center with a great arm or a pinch runner.
You just described Peter Bourjos, who fans and media couldn’t wait to see leave. Yet, Bader gets different treatment. Why? Because of his “cool” hair? Same with O’Neill. Media folks in town adore him because of his muscles. How ridiculous is that? One local, fat, media dork calls him “Bro-neill”. That’s all you need to know about the credibility of these clowns.
stan lee the manly
Oh no, the media likes to have fun sometimes, bbbbooooooooooooooooo them. Get off my lawn.
It’s not fun. These azz clown media types in this town ACTUALLY think they are friends with these players. They kizz azz. The players laugh at them, not with them. Stop grazing on my lawn. Mozeliak has plenty of grazing space for you at Busch.
This looks like it could be a good thing for Bader, he has looked a little lost lately. Get right and get back!