Paul DeJong to be replaced by Kramer Robertson at St. Louis Cardinals

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The Cardinals have signed infielder Kramer Robertson to replace Paul DeJong’s position on the team’s 26-man squad. The underperforming shortstop and second baseman DeJong will be sent to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.

DeJong was the NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2017 and an All-Star in 2019, but his batting has been steadily declining. His OPS+, for example, were 121, 102, 99, 87, and 85 in every season before 2022. In 86 plate appearances this season, he hit .130/.209/.208 (26 OPS+) with 25 strikeouts.

Robertson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 amateur draft by the Cardinals out of the LSU Tigers. He worked his way through the St. Louis structure, recording consistently strong stats at each stage.

He has demonstrated the capability to get on base, accumulating a.248/.357/.369 triple-slash across five minor-league seasons. He had a.225/.380/.400 slash line in 100 plate appearances for Triple-A Memphis this season.

However, The Cardinals still owe DeJong the remaining $6M salary for the 2022 season as well as $9MM for 2023. The Cardinals have a $12.5MM club option for 2024 that appears to be a foregone conclusion, with DeJong earning a $2M buyout.

While not a large number, if the Cardinals are truly ready to let go of DeJong, they might try to exchange him before the trade deadline, potentially for another team’s unattractive deal.

Other options

DeJong still has three minor league choices available to the Cardinals, which is presumably the only explanation he is still on the roster.

The Cardinals said they wanted to pick the second baseman Tommy Edman at shortstop. He has been a defensive powerhouse in the majors, having played second, third, short, and all three outfield spots.

Edman has also shown impressive offensive potential, including a breakout start this season. In 27 games, he hit .292/.393/.458 (154 OPS+) with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, 14 RBI, 18 runs, and seven steals.

With second base a little unprotected, second and third baseman Nolan Gorman is in everyone’s mind when it comes to fulfilling the role.

He batted in 26 Triple-A games this year. With three doubles, 12 home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs, he hit 307/.360/.693. He hit 12 home runs in just 101 at-bats.

Shortstop Edmundo Sosa is now on the COVID-related injured list, but he has begun undergoing a minor league rehab assignment. He seems to be on his way back to St. Louis. This adds depth at shortstop, and infielder Brendan Donovan can also play second base, providing the Cardinals some versatility up the middle.

Both Edman and Sosa have shown solid defensive ability at shortstop, although in lower sample sizes in the major leagues. It is possible that relocating DeJong will result in a significant decline in glovework at shortstop, but given that Edman is a reigning Gold Glove winner at second base, the Cardinals must be concerned about potentially hurting themselves at several positions.

Sosa seemingly sprang out of nowhere to be a valuable contributor to the club, but his lack of experience in the majors or minors could put him at risk as an everyday player.

Paul DeJong

Paul Sterling DeJong is an American professional baseball shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball . He made his major league debut on May 28, 2017. A native of Orlando, (wikipedia)

Memphis Redbirds

The Memphis Redbirds are a Minor League Baseball team of the International League and the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They are located in Memphis, Tennessee, (wikipedia)

Harry James
Harry James' love for sports began in his high school basketball days. Sadly, an injury meant he couldn't further his NBA dreams, but the hooper's loss is our gain as he then found journalism.

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