The St. Louis Cardinals announced two roster moves on Thursday, as they optioned third baseman Jordan Walker to Triple-A Memphis and signed utility player Taylor Motter to a major league contract.
Walker, 19, was the Cardinals’ first-round pick in the 2020 draft and has been one of the most impressive prospects in baseball this season. He hit .374/.494/.687 with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs in 74 games across three levels, reaching Triple-A as a teenager.
He also played for Team USA in the Olympic qualifying tournament in June.
Walker was called up to the majors on Tuesday as part of the September roster expansion, but did not appear in any games for the Cardinals. He will continue his development in Memphis and could be a factor for the big league club next year.
Motter, 32, is a versatile veteran who can play all over the infield and outfield. He has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with four different teams, most recently with the Colorado Rockies in 2019.
He signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in July and hit .272/.370/.500 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 44 games for Memphis.
Motter will provide some depth and flexibility for the Cardinals, who are currently in the second wild card spot in the National League. He will wear number 18 and be available for Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Final Thoughts: Cardinals Option Jordan Walker to Triple-A, Sign Taylor Motter to Major League Contract
The St. Louis Cardinals made two notable roster moves on Thursday, one involving a highly-touted prospect and the other bringing in a versatile veteran.
The decision to option Jordan Walker, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in the 2020 draft, to Triple-A Memphis may come as a surprise to some given his impressive performance this season.
However, it’s clear that the Cardinals are prioritizing his development and want him to get more consistent playing time in the minors.
Despite not making his major league debut during his brief call-up, the fact that the Cardinals were willing to promote Walker at such a young age speaks to his potential and the organization’s belief in his future.
By sending him down to Triple-A, they’re allowing him to continue honing his skills and gaining valuable experience against more seasoned competition.
It’s worth noting that Walker is still just 19 years old and has already shown a remarkable ability to hit for power and get on base at every level he’s played at so far.
As for the signing of Taylor Motter, it’s a shrewd move by the Cardinals to add depth and flexibility to their roster as they make a push for the playoffs.
Motter has experience playing all over the diamond, which gives manager Mike Shildt more options when it comes to making substitutions or filling in for injured players.
Additionally, Motter has been swinging a hot bat in Triple-A this season, putting up solid numbers across the board.
It’s unclear at this point how much playing time Motter will receive with the Cardinals, but his presence on the roster should give the team some added insurance in case of injuries or slumps.
Overall, the Cardinals are making smart, strategic moves to bolster their roster down the stretch and position themselves for a playoff run.