photo: Alvaro Seijas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The day after St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he hoped the club’s recent flurry of player transactions during the Chicago road trip would stop, the team made yet another, announced on Friday evening. It extended to seven the team’s current streak of consecutive days with a player move.
RHP Alvaro Seijas has been outrighted off the 40-man roster and removed from the Cardinals 60-man player pool.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 22, 2020
The “pros” for Seijas
On one hand, this is a surprise, as Seijas was a strong contributor in 2019, and showed enough to be added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Among the right-hander’s honors last season were the Cardinals organization’s June Pitcher of the Month award, Midwest League All-Star selection and The Cardinal Nation’s choice as the system-wide Comeback Pitcher of the Year.
The Cardinal Nation’s 24th-ranked prospect currently was signed from Venezuela on July 2, 2015 for a reported $762,500. It was the top reported signing bonus paid by the club in the 2015-2016 international period, in the same class that Fernando Tatis, Jr. signed with the White Sox for $700,000.
Pitching last season at the age of 20, Seijas compiled an 8-6 record and posted a 2.81 ERA over 24 starts between Class-A Peoria and High-A Palm Beach. The right-hander struck out 114 batters against 54 walks over a career-high 134 ⅓ innings. He features a low-to-mid 90’s fastball plus a curve and change-up that are still works in progress.
Further, he showed improvement after his promotion. On the strength of a 2.93 ERA in 14 Midwest League starts, Seijas was promoted to Palm Beach last July 3. Over the final two months in the Florida State League, he did not miss a beat, performing even better at the higher level, with a 2.65 ERA over 10 starts.
The “cons” for Seijas
On the other hand, perhaps this move shouldn’t be all that surprising. Often times, the organization’s actions – or absence of them – offer important clues about a player’s relative standing.
Seijas is the only one of the 47 players on 40-man roster neither to have been invited to Summer Camp nor to be called up to St. Louis. Not physically imposing at 6-feet, 193 pounds, he is just one of three 40-man players to have not already played for St. Louis in the first 14 games this season*.
(* The others are outfielder Justin Williams and third baseman Elehuris Montero. The latter, The Cardinal Nation’s 4th-ranked prospect, was one of the early positive COVID tests, but was asymptomatic. Williams is ranked 17th.)
This move might suggest that Seijas has not advanced in this interrupted year as quickly as hoped. Then again, he seems to have a lot of career runway remaining. Seijas will not turn 22 years of age until October and has never pitched in either Double-A and Triple-A. Perhaps this latter reality – the lack of higher level experience and therefore probably being unable to help St. Louis in this compressed season – is what ultimately could have cost him his roster spot.
Correction: The following paragraph is not relevant. Because Seijas has been outrighted, not designated for assignment, that means he has already cleared waivers. He remains in the organization, assigned to the (real) Springfield roster, and is ineligible to return to the 60-man pool in 2020.
Seijas’ next move will be decided in the next seven days – whether traded, claimed off waivers by another organization, outrighted to the minor leagues or released. I listed these four options in the order of the likelihood of them occurring, in my opinion. Through Seijas is losing his 40-man spot, it is not as if he has no value by any stretch.
With Seijas immediately removed, St. Louis’ 40-man roster is now down to 46 and the 2020 player pool may be at 59. The former is far more important right now, as six more players must be also dropped from the 40-man by the time all of the COVID IL players return to the active roster (refer to Related Article below).
The 40-man total had been 46 until the Cardinals decided to add Johan Oviedo to the roster to start the final game in Chicago on Wednesday. That last addition could have been the move that cost Seijas his spot. Ironically, the two are friends.
Friday player news
Prior to the game, manager Mike Shildt shared updates on the team’s players working their way back from the injured list.
- Carlos Martinez and Ryan Helsley are at the ballpark. Carlos bounced back well from his Thursday side session. Will share the plan for Martinez on Sunday. (Based on the limited time remaining to stretch him out, it could be a bullpen assignment.)
- Hoping outfielders Austin Dean and Lane Thomas are cleared on Saturday to begin workouts.
- The rest – Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa, Rangel Ravelo, Kodi Whitley and Junior Fernandez – are in Springfield.
Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation
(Spoiler: I did not expect Seijas to be included, but I think I may have the next six to be removed from the roster pegged. The upcoming days and weeks will tell us…)
Full roster detail at The Cardinal Nation
To view the two 2020 rosters and to track the status of the Cardinals’ 60-man pool, 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.
Detailed team rosters for the entire system can be accessed via the red menu column at the top left (see “ROSTERS/PLAYERS/MOVES”).
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