Here are two players the St. Louis Cardinals should promote if they’re looking to contend — and two to promote if they’re giving up.
The St. Louis Cardinals are barely clinging to playoff contention in 2021, and the front office has some decisions to make on its two September call-ups. If the team thinks the playoffs are a possibility, the players promoted might differ from those who come up if the team is punting on the season, so I’m going to look at two players for each scenario.
If the Cardinals want to squirm their way into the playoffs, they’re going to need a stout bullpen. Most of Oviedo’s appearances with the Cardinals have been in a starting role, but with the team’s starters all finally seemingly healthy for the stretch run, Oviedo would be better served pitching out the bullpen for the Cardinals. He hasn’t had a great season in Memphis, with a 6.95 ERA, but very few pitchers on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster have performed well there this season.
Oviedo has shown some flashes of ability at the major league level, but he often struggles to go deep into games. If he can refine his arsenal in the bullpen, Oviedo can serve as a good relief pitcher for the Cardinals and help provide others in the bullpen with some rest.
The situation with Waddell is similar to Oviedo, though Waddell has the benefit of already being a bullpen pitcher in the minor leagues, meaning less of an adjustment would be necessary. Waddell also has the benefit of being left-handed, and unlike most Memphis pitchers, he has performed competently in the minor leagues, although much of that time was in the Baltimore Orioles’ system.
Waddell is 27, so the time is now for him to try to establish himself as a major league-caliber pitcher. He had some control issues in his brief stint with the Cardinals this year, allowing five walks in 4.1 innings, but if he can iron those out, he could be serviceable in the bullpen.
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