The Cardinals announced a series of roster moves prior to today’s clash with the Tigers, activating veteran Adam Wainwright from the 15-day IL and selecting the contract of catcher Tres Barrera. Guillermo Zuniga was optioned to Triple-A while infielder Taylor Motter was designated for assignment. Wainwright will start today’s match.
The return of Wainwright is a big boost to a Cardinals rotation that – outside of Jordan Montgomery – has struggled mightily to start the season. Cardinals starters rank 24th in the majors with a 5.39 ERA, with Montgomery’s 3.29 mark holding things together while Steven Matz, Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty have all disappointed.
The 41-year-old Wainwright will make his first start of what will be his final big league season. Despite his age, Wainwright has been a reliable starter for the Cardinals in recent years, making 64 starts in the past two seasons and working to a 3.37 ERA. His return should help as the Cardinals try to stabilize their rotation, and get back into the race for the NL Central after a disappointing 10-23 start.
The selection of Barrera is also a noteworthy one, as it sees the Cardinals shift major off-season recruit Willson Contreras off catching duties. St Louis will now primarily work with Andrew Knizner at backstop with Barrera backing him up, while Contreras will almost exclusively see time at DH and in the outfield, manager Oli Marmol told reporters (including Derrick Goold of the St Louis Post-Dispatch).
The presence of Contreras in the outfield and DH will further crowd the Cardinals’ picture there, with Tyler O’Neill, Lars Nootbar, Dylan Carlson and the recently optioned Jordan Walker all factors in play. Contreras has hit at usual above average clip, posting a .280/.361/.421 line with a pair of home runs but his framing numbers are below average and with the Cards’ rotation struggling it appears they’ve moved to shake things up a bit.
Barrera joined the Cardinals on a minor league deal this winter after spending the entirety of his career in the Nationals organization. He has exactly one year of service time over three big league seasons, putting together a .231/.317/.315 line with two home runs in that time. He’ll now presumably serve as Knizner’s backup with the big league club.
Motter also joined the Cardinals this year to a work as a utility option off the bench. He’d put together a .200/.273/.300 line in just 22 plate appearances, striking out in more than 36% of his plate appearances. In his brief stint with the Cardinals he logged time at second and third, but he’s also seen time at short and in the outfield for other teams throughout his career. While the offensive numbers don’t inspire much confidence, it’s possible another team sees value in Motter’s ability to bounce round the diamond and places a claim on the 33-year-old.
Zuniga, 24, made his big league debut for the Cards this season, pitching just a solitary inning out of the bullpen, striking out a couple of batters and keeping things scoreless. He’ll head back to Triple-A and continue to provide the team with relief pitching depth there, where he has a 5.40 ERA in 8 1/3 innings this season.
Waino will give up Tres, but it really doesn’t Motter anymore.
Made me laugh. I hope calling up Waino does Motter.
What?!!!! What is going on with Motter? Why send Zuniga back down? I always look for the subtle subplot below the surface, but this is getting hard to follow.
When you pick up Tres, dos have to go or you’re over the limit.
This is pure chaos.
This is a panic move if I’ve ever seen one. This team is in a complete tailspin right now. The comments by Marmol regarding the move go as close to the line of blaming Contreras for everything that is wrong with the team without stepping past it. What a fiasco.
The Cardinals are realizing that Contreras is not a good defensive catcher. Kinzer is catching a day game after a night game. I’ve said for a long time that Contreras should be moved to LF. It’ll keep his legs fresh and he doesn’t handle a pitching staff well.
Great scouting! . He’s only been in the league 8 years, not to mention how many times they’ve seen him face them.
…But he had the blessing of the great Yadier Molina so that’s worth 80 million.
They are planning to start playing Contreras in the OF. This is crazy!
So they sent Walker down because we have too many outfielders, but now they’re going to move Contreras to the outfield to make room for TRES BARRERA? There has to be MUCH more to this story.
Trying to throw Willie under the bus. Mo needs to look at himself.
Breaking news, the Cardinals ERA is awful, Contreras is a terrible game manager which is why the Cubs showed zero interest in re-signing him.
Hate to say “I told you so” but go back and look, Contreras is a “super sub” who is primarily a DH.
You called it. Several times. This has to be getting serious. Mo NEVER admits to being wrong like this.
Mo & Co is the real cancer of the operation, in my opinion.
I wouldn’t want to play for any of them. I don’t like the DeWitts, I don’t like Mozeliak, and I don’t like Marmol.
Another game the team leader in HRs, RBIs, OPS (?) and 2-out RBIs is forced to ride the pine to make room for players paid more than him, not better than him. Will the nonstop nonsense ever end? Gorman is young and healthy. He should be in there as often as anyone, so he can continue his development.
Oh I’m pretty sure, even if you were making league minimum (you would still be grossly overpaid) you would WANT to play for them.. dumb comment, move on…
No, he isn’t healthy.. he has a back issue. Jesus everyone, do your research before you comment
You know I meant if I were a major league player. Your comment isn’t any better.
So, his back is so bad he can’t start @ DH, but he can pinch-hit in high-leverage situations? Okay.. you win. I remember him having back issues before, but I didn’t realize they flared up on him again, already.. I don’t get to watch every game, so I don’t get to hear a lot of the insider information shared during broadcasts.
With Knizner at catcher Wainwright’s performance today is IP 5; H 8; ER 4; ERA 7.20…but the blame goes to Willson Contreras
The recent memory of Contreras – his catching residue – behind the plate is to blame. Like everything else today, when a narrative is being pushed, facts just get in the way. Mo is looking for the slightest uptick in team performance so he can say, “We knew exactly how to right the ship!”
He’s still looking.
Lol. DFAing the same player twice in a matter of weeks shows just how incompetent they are.
It’s fun to see how self destructive the dead birds are.
Dr. Van Nostrand
Dead Birds! I haven’t heard that one!
The pitching staff must really hate throwing to Contreras. To the point someone was about to go public about it. There is no other way they make this move. Knizner has done nothing to justify more playing time and Mo never admits to being wrong. There must be serious unrest in the clubhouse.
Not trying to pile on, but worst NL record would suggest the “desperate times call for desperate measures” approach is being enacted. Yes I’m a Padre fan with his own team issues, but these would seem like strange moves for the Redbirds. Maybe I just don’t know their team good enough, but nonetheless, good luck.
Flaherty was recently quoted as saying, “We’re way better than this”. I think that mindset has been a big part of what led them to this point. I know it rubs me the wrong way. Very little accountability and a whole lot of entitlement.
I wish the reporter would have yelled, “shut up and prove it!” to him and the rest of them.
The Contreras situation makes no sense. There has to be more to this story because that 5 year deal values him as a catcher and they’re pivoting off after 1 month. Something isn’t right here…
Until tightwad, Billionaire Bill Dewallet lets some of the moths fly from his wallet or there is a major change in management, nothing is going to change. Something needs to change immediately. There has to be a cancer in the clubhouse.
Did you read the article? Sounds like they are blaming Contreras for all the issues, making him the scapegoat. Too bad DeWallet already sprung $80 mil for his bat which is great for a catcher but subpar for an outfielder. His defense will likely stink there also. How could they play against him for 8 years and not understand what kind of catcher he is? Mo is a freaking idiot.
I don’t know Bill from Ted… buy maybe the only cancer in the ‘house starts with an “L” and ends in an “osing”
Brick House Coffee Tables Inc
Does Contreras have a NTC?
If not, I would be stunned if he is on their roster a year from today.
They were bidding against themselves for him. Now that the Cardinals have basically blamed their collapse on him, who would want that contract?
There’s no place for him on the roster. Send along the necessary money to trade him to a team needing a DH/utility player.
It would take a big bag of money at this point, but it’s not my money and I didn’t hire the screw up who spent it in the first place. So, by all means, make the move. The only problem is, we’re back to square one in the catching department.
I advocated all offseason for a Carson Kelly/Omar Narvaez platoon. I still think that would have been a better solution.
But getting lost in the shuffle is the fact that no matter who the catcher is, the change in pitching philosophy has done more damage to the pitching than anything else. That’s all on Mo. He can’t point enough fingers to escape accountability. Too many mistakes have been made. The buck stops with him.
And why the GM should be providing any insight at all on pitching approach and mechanics is another issue altogether.
They are over paying him no matter if he’s in St. Louis or not. Why force him onto the roster at the expense of better players. He’s an average hitter anywhere but catcher. Eat the overpayment and move on.
Someone in management has to be fired for this level of incompetence. The losing could possibly be blamed on the players not executing. This level of chaos can only be blamed on an unacceptable failure in management.
Come to think of, they might package him with a good young player with years of control and not have to send cash.
He’s not get traded. I don’t recall a player signing a long term contract and then being traded less than two months into the season ever. If you can cite examples of this occurring feel free.
This is not a normal situation. He can’t be happy they aren’t using him as they agreed. I can’t think of an example where a free agent catcher was signed then fired as the catcher a month into the contract. It would probably be best for everyone, including Contreras, if he moved on.
He has a full no trade clause, his value is exceptionally low, and he’s owed a lot of money. It’s not happening.
So the Cardinals trade Gorman to make room for a failed catcher at DH? I’m pretty sure Contreras would wave that no trade after being publicly humiliated by Cardinals management.
I’m not sure what role Gorman plays in all of this when the dust settles, but Contreras being traded at any point in the near future isn’t happening. I have spoken.
Can I quote you later? I don’t see how the man remains a Cardinal after this debacle.
This all goes back to not just paying for a solid pitcher. The price is high but you either need to pay or trade for pitching. It’s what this game is all about. They have abandoned the Cardinal Way by ignoring that. The mediocre low strikeout pitchers are now blaming Contreras. This is not getting better anytime soon. I feel bad for Willson.
They’re going to need to beg Waino to keep playing. They look better in the first two innings of this game than they have at any point this season.
Well, now that Contreras has been moved to the DH position, the Cardinals can send Gorman back to Memphis to keep Walker company.
Taking ABs from Gorman is my biggest problem with this. Decisions need to be made on roster construction. This chaos is horrible.