Cardinals Make Roster Space for Kim with Adolis Garcia DFA

photo: Adolis Garcia (Frank Ramirez/The Cardinal Nation)

St. Louis Cardinals social media announcement

On Wednesday, December 18, the St. Louis Cardinals confirmed how they created 40-man roster space for newly-signed pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim. Outfielder Adolis Garcia drew the short straw.

Complete details on Kim’s signing can be found here.

Cardinals Sign Korean Lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim

Brian Walton’s take

Garcia’s 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 Garcia is losing his 40-man spot, it is not as if he has no value.

Adolis Garcia

Even so, Wednesday’s move is not terribly surprising. The candidates to be removed from the 40-man roster had to begin with those who were healthy, yet not promoted to St. Louis in September. The short list included Garcia, Justin Williams and Ramon Urias.

Garcia’s Memphis outfield teammate Williams is younger and hits left-handed while Urias, the lowest-ranked of the three prospects in our 2020 top 50, is an infielder. As many may have known, the Cardinals already had eight 40-man roster outfielders, not counting multi-position players Rangel Ravelo, Yairo Muñoz and Tommy Edman. So, giving up on the lowest outfielder on the totem pole is understandable.

Though The Cardinal Nation voted Garcia the organization’s no. 18 prospect for 2020, this ranking did not come without significant reservations. Without going into the same depth as outlined in that members-only article, here are some key points about the outfielder, who turns 27 years of age in March.

Garcia’s home run total of 32 and ISO (Isolated Power) of .235 drew great attention, though it came in a year in which Triple-A offense was overly-inflated across the board due to the use of the lower-seam MLB baseball.

Further, Garcia’s strikeout rate continued to erode, as it was over 30 percent and his walk rate under five percent in 2019. Always a very streaky hitter, Garcia’s monthly results as summarized by OPS varied wildly, from a low of .649 in June to 1.160 in August. In the latter month, pretty much the entire Memphis offense went crazy offensively.

Overall, his wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus) fell from 110 in 2017 to 95 in 2018 to 89 in 2019, below the average Pacific Coast League hitter for the second straight season and on a three-year downward trend at the same level of play. The power alone just wasn’t enough.

Garcia’s first three weeks’ results in winter ball in the Dominican Republic did not help his case – high strikeout rate (26.6 percent) with no walks taken, and an OPS of .668.

During 2019, Lane Thomas and fellow Cuban Randy Arozarena made solid initial impressions in St. Louis’ outfield, with Dylan Carlson not far behind. While this three, along with Tyler O’Neill, are being discussed as starting outfield candidates for the 2020 Cardinals, Garcia was rarely, if ever, included among the serious contenders.

With the Kim and Garcia moves, the Cardinals’ 40-man roster remains full.

P.S., for an angry subset of you…

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 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.

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