Cardinals: 1 disappointment to demote, 1 prospect to call up down the stretch

Mike Shildt, Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals. (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Shildt, Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals. (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 2
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals. (Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. Louis Cardinals are running out of time to make any serious postseason push in 2021.

Despite being the favorite to win the NL Central at the start of the year, the St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the biggest disappointments in the National League this season.

St. Louis enters play on Tuesday night vs. the awful Pittsburgh Pirates with a sub-.500 record. The Cardinals trail the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers by 10.5 games and find themselves in third place in an NL Central that no longer looks to be winnable for St. Louis. Once the Cardinals accept they are playing for next year, they will make a series of roster moves to better prepare for 2022.

Here is one player who has disappointed throughout and one top prospect who could be getting his day in the sun here very soon.

St. Louis Cardinals: 1 player to demote, 1 top prospect to promote

It was a great ride, but the Matt Carpenter experience needed to end years ago

Since it has not happened already, it probably is not going to anyway, but we have to wonder when the Cardinals are going to pull the plug on the Matt Carpenter era in St. Louis. He has not been good at the plate in years. Given that he is playing out the final year of his Cardinals contract, St. Louis may cut bait with him, or see his role with the team decrease in favor of a younger player.

On the year, Carpenter is slashing .200/.332/.325 in 193 plate appearances over 94 games. While he was a three-time NL All-Star for the Cardinals, Carpenter has not been to the Mid-Summer Classic since 2016 and has not hit above .250 in a season since 2018. With next to no power at the plate any more, Carpenter is losing value he has as a big leaguer with every passing game.

While Carpenter was drafted out of TCU by the Cardinals in the 13th round back in 2009, it is time for St. Louis to accept it has gotten more than its money’s worth out of the former NL MVP candidate and move on. He will be 36-years-old ahead of the 2021 MLB season, but if he plans on playing in the big leagues for a 12th season, Carpenter has to accept it will probably be elsewhere.

St. Louis is not going to send Carpenter down or release him, but he is living off a past reputation.