Cardinals Make Stunning Roster Move With Demotion

If you would have told any St. Louis Cardinals fan throughout spring training, or through the first couple of weeks of the young 2023 season that rookie outfielder Jordan Walker would be down in the minors before the calendar turned to May, they simply wouldn't have believed you. 

However, that's the situation the 20-year-old freshman now faces, as the Cards have demoted him to Triple-A.

The team has signed Taylor Motte to a free agent deal to replace him on the roster.

Walker, the No. 6 prospect in the sport coming into the season, set the baseball world on fire during spring training, blasting several mammoth home runs in the early days of March, before tailing off a bit as the strikeouts piled up. He finished the Grapefruit League with a .277 average, a .791 OPS and 3 homers and 9 RBIs. But he also had 15 strikeouts to just two walks. 

Then as the regular season began, he started out hot once again, with a 12-game hitting streak, batting .355 after eight games, with two dingers, 7 RBIs and a 1.007 OPS. 

But since the hitting streak ended, he's batted .192, and once again, the whiffs started to take hold. Walker had been on the bench in five of the last 11 games. Overall, in his 20 games in the bigs, he struck out 20 times to just three base on balls. He takes a .274 average with a .718 OPS down to the minors to try to regain his stroke. The kid only turns 21 next month. He's got plenty of time to work his way back for another shot in The Show.

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports