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St. Louis Cardinals: Was sending Greg Garcia down to AAA the right move?

Cardinals 4/20

With Ruben Tejada coming off the DL and Aledmys Diaz swinging a hot bat, utility man Greg Garcia was sent to AAA by the Cardinals. But, should it have been him going to Memphis?

A couple days ago, Ruben Tejada was activated from the disabled list after he fully recovered from a left quadriceps injury. In order to make room for Tejada on the 25-man roster, the Cardinals elected to send down Greg Garcia to AAA Memphis. However, out of all the role players on this team, Garcia should not have been the one to go.

Garcia has done an incredible job this year when his number has been called upon. He was hitting .600 (6 for 10) with a 1.100 slugging percentage. Defensively, he played well for the team at 2nd base, shortstop, and 3rd base. In 28 and 2/3 innings on defense, he only made 1 error. Unfortunately, his error came at a crucial moment, but he definitely played well enough to stay with the big league club. What makes the situation even more disappointing for Garcia is the fact that he will now miss playing in the series in his hometown San Diego.

Instead of Garcia, the team should have sent down either Matt Adams or Matthew Bowman.

At the beginning of the season, it seemed as if the Cardinals wouldn’t have enough legitimate candidates to play 1st base. Well, now, it is the complete opposite. There are plenty of players on this roster who can play at 1st base. Brandon Moss, a natural 1st baseman, has proved that he belongs on the field and in the lineup with his power potential. Matt Holliday has also played the position capably, especially with Jeremy Hazelbaker emerging as a starting outfielder. So that begs the question, why does Adams belong on the 25-man roster.

If Adams is only there for the occasional pinch hit opportunity for the Cardinals, he should not be on the 25-man roster. So far, he is only hitting .200 (4 for 20) with 1 home run. Adams and Moss are very similar players and you only need one of them on the team. Adams should have definitely gone down instead of Garcia.

Out of the bullpen, Bowman is also another strong candidate to go down. Bowman, only 25 years old, is a very young player. He would have benefitted from getting more experience by pitching on a more consistent basis in Triple-A. Right now, the bullpen seems like the strongest aspect of the team. There are plenty of quality pitchers in this bullpen and Manager Mike Matheny likely only needs 6 relief pitchers to work with. Bowman going down for Garcia would also have been a better move.

Here is the truth: Garcia played as well as he could have and there is no way you can ask more of him. Even if he just got hot for a brief stint with his .600 average, he still showed that he belongs on this team. Unfortunately, the team just ran out of room for him, but you definitely have to question General Manger John Mozeliak’s decision . Hopefully, Garcia uses this move as motivation and plays so well at AAA that the team has no option but to recall him.

 

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