Dylan Carlson Returns to Cardinals, Lineup

photo: Dylan Carlson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

St. Louis Cardinals announcement

Brian Walton’s take

The comma in the title to this article is important. Just as when Dylan Carlson was initially promoted to the St. Louis Cardinals back on August 15, his return on Friday is under similar conditions – with regular playing time attached.

“We will try to get him a lot of at-bats,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said before Friday’s doubleheader in Pittsburgh. He advised Carlson to “Take a deep breath, don’t put the weight of the world on your shoulders and go have some fun.”

The organization’s top prospect struggled to consistently hit breaking pitches and was optioned to the Cardinals alternate camp 10 days ago, on September 8.

Following Mozeliak, Mike Shildt disclosed that the 21-year old will be in the team’s Game 2 lineup on Friday. From there, playing time decisions will be day-to-day, the manager said.

Dylan Carlson

Mozeliak on other players

On Dakota Hudson – He went to have an MRI today. Want to see level of inflammation to see if he can pitch the rest of the year (just 10 days left).

On Dexter Fowler – Hopes he can return early next week. Will know more on Sunday.

Shildt comments

On Carlson – A pause has been positive for a lot of guys. Time will tell (for Carlson). Needed a mental break. Told him to get back to what anchored him at this level. He will embrace that and be fine.

On Ponce – Very resilient guy. Throws a high number of pitches in his between starts pen (50-55). He likes to throw a lot. (He is pitching Friday on just three days rest.)

On Kolten Wong – He checked all the boxes on Thursday. Back in there ready to go.

On John Gant – Will talk to him after this Zoom call.

On Tyler O’Neill – He leads all left fielders in ground covered. Has a range factor like a center fielder. A big man who can really run. Told him after last season to focus on defense to become a complete player.

Update

Within an hour of Shildt’s closing remarks, the following news was released. It effectively ends Hudson’s season with a 3-2 record and a 2.77 ERA over eight starts.

Crismatt was just sent down on Wednesday, but can be recalled inside the normal 10 days since he is replacing an injured player.

Ponce de Leon, Austin Gomber and Johan Oviedo should be asked to pick up the rotation slack.

The Cardinals have six other pitchers on the injured list with only Kodi Whitley and Giovanny Gallegos not out for the season.

“It’s definitely more impactful than we first thought,” Shildt said Friday evening.

Roster implications

With these moves, the Cardinals are carrying 16 pitchers and 13 position players on Friday.

As noted, Ponce de Leon is designated as the 29th man for Friday’s twin bill and is starting Game 2. This is his third such designation since he was sent down on August 29th  As 10 days have passed since he was last optioned out, the right-hander could remain on the active roster with another player sent out for Saturday.

Others currently on the taxi squad are pitchers Nabil Crismatt and Johan Oviedo, catcher Andrew Knizner and Schrock.

Post-doubleheader updates

Note that Kaminsky will be eligible to return to minor league free agency this fall, though if both sides are agreeable, he could return to the Cardinals for 2021.


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