Connect with us

Latest Posts

A piece without a fit. St. Louis Cardinals option lefty Gorman back to minor leagues

Published

on

ADVERTISEMENT

Behind his desk in his office at Busch Stadium on Sunday morning, Cardinals coach Oli Marmol politely but firmly cut a reporter in the middle of the question with a half smile.

“Are you asking if I liked (defendant Alec) Burleson or (second baseman Nolan) Gorman?”

When he was told that, with the current Cardinals’ roster being built, there was probably room for just one of those rising left-wing bats on the post-season roster, he said, “You’ll go down to that competition who takes better at the bat.”

And then, when the question was asked: “We could not agree more.”

Late Tuesday night, the ground under competition changed.

Gorman, who scored 14 players in the major leagues and 29 communities between MLB and Triple-A, was selected to join the Memphis in the final week of their season. He was replaced on the roster by Juan Ypez, who injured himself in mid-July on a throw to the plate from right field and hasn’t returned to the big leagues since, except for one day in late August when Nolan was put Arenado on the paternity roster.

The decision to send Gorman in a vacuum wasn’t made on the roster, though it certainly hasn’t helped his cause in recent weeks. This month, coming into play Tuesday, it’s just a 4 for 29 with 15 hits. Several speculators over the weekend against Cincinnati’s modest bid – including a chance to tie or take the lead – looked uncompetitive.

On Sunday, after hours of discussion with Marmol, Gorman came to the plate with two in the seventh and two in the bottom seventh and St. Louis trailing by three. Correct Reds loyalist Joel Connell—he’s from 5.75 ERA over 48 comfortable appearances—sniffed Gorman in three pitches.

Louis Cardinals' Nolan Gorman was congratulated by his teammates after hitting a home singles during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.  Gorman, who scored 14 players in the major leagues and 29 communities between MLB and Triple-A, was selected to join the Memphis in the final week of their season.

Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Gorman was congratulated by his teammates after hitting a home singles during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in July. Gorman, who scored 14 players in the major leagues and 29 communities between MLB and Triple-A, was selected to join the Memphis in the final week of their season.

Cardinals bang hit from the right side

Connell’s dominance at the hands of Kuhnell – and Gorman Webies – are relevant factors for discussion given how strong Gorman’s protection was in the junior season. Only 23 of the 313 matches he played were against left-handed bowlers, although his hit rate or hit rate was not significantly worse with the unfavorable split.

Advertisements

With Tyler O’Neill back on the roster with another strained hamstring, though, the Cardinals’ potential pop from the right side of the board took a big hit. Yepez helps in this department, especially as the week approaches when the Cardinals will likely encounter at least four left-handed Novices.

Where Yepez doesn’t help, though, is on the defensive side of the ball. This is an area where Gorman is under pressure as well, albeit not in the way many assumed at the start of the season. He has cleared himself as a passable defender in second place, if somewhat shaky on the hard-hit ground on which he has to move sideways.

the pressure

Indeed, Marmol has expressed his preference for Gorman’s defense in second place ahead of super services player Brendan Donovan, who now appears to be in line to take up the position on a daily basis in an effort to keep his racket in the lineup. With the arm of a third baseman and a fearless willingness to stand in the bag, Gorman’s double playing roles helped maximize Nolan Arenado’s incredible skill at third base.

Instead, pressure comes from two other left-handed bats, and the Cardinals nonetheless strive to get away from the board at all costs. Ben DeLuzzio was called up by Yipez on September 1 as a defensive midfielder in midfield and an option as a runner-up for hacking. Marmol said the organization had earlier in the season named DeLuzio as its best centre-back, other than former Cardinal Harrison Bader. So far, this view has been confirmed.

Paul Dejong, since called up from Memphis just before the trade deadline, has started on a steady offensive run. After a brief comeback, since August 10, DeJong is 11 for 74 with only one home run and 29 strikes. For the season, his +OPS is 60 years old, making him 40% worse than the league batting average.

Piece without fit

However, DeJong passed the necessary service time barrier to prevent the Cardinals from returning him to Memphis without his consent. Whatever his struggles on the plate, he remains quick on the defensive. In his last 16 matches, DeJong has entered the game in the sixth inning or thereafter 11 times; He took a one or a zero at bat in 10 of those games.

Herein lies Gorman’s difficulty. He hits from the wrong side of the board to give him space to work through his struggles there, given that Corey Dickerson (7 vs. 33) and Lars Knottbar (4 vs. 42) are also on the decline. He’s not a good enough defender to get into the late game. And he doesn’t deliver productive results, especially when compared to Burleson, who has only three hits (one of which was one) but only one in his first 22 appearances in the major leagues.

Gorman won’t be short on opportunities in the spring, and numbers remain a key factor in the Cardinals’ future. But for now, with playoffs looming, it’s just a piece without a fit, and easier to squeeze.

ADVERTISEMENT

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Trending

Advertisements

Copyright © 2022 strongbat.com. Theme by The Nitesh Arya.