Génesis Cabrera changed feathers on Friday, as he was traded from St. Louis to Toronto for teenage catching prospect Sammy Hernandez a number of days after Cabrera was designated for task. The hard-throwing 26-year-old southpaw had spent components of 5 unstable seasons with the Cardinals. Whereas he has loved a big bat-missing rebound in 2023 in comparison with final season (he’s again into the 26% Ok% space, up from 16.5% in 2022), Cabrera was within the midst of one more rocky, homer-prone 12 months earlier than he was DFA’d. He launched an upper-80s slider/cutter to his repertoire this 12 months and has been utilizing it a ton (36%), whereas his fastball velocity has slipped a bit. All of Cabrera’s non-fastball pitches generate above-average swinging strike charges, whereas his mid-90s heater tends to get shelled regardless that he and the Cardinals made modifications to it this 12 months. Maybe a change of surroundings and new exterior intervention will result in one other tweak on this space:
Cabrera isn’t a dependable center reduction possibility proper now regardless of the standard of his secondary stuff and arm energy, however he does add lefty depth to a bullpen state of affairs that wanted it. He turns into the second lefty reliever on Toronto’s 40-man roster after Tim Mayza, although Trevor Richards (who sports activities probably the greatest changeups of the final decade or so) can be a lefty-dousing reliever with reverse splits (he boasts a 40% Ok% vs. left-handed hitters!). It’s a nice pickup on the margins for Toronto.
In change, the Cardinals will obtain 19-year-old catcher Sammy Hernandez, who had just lately been demoted from Low-A Dunedin to the Advanced League roster. Hernandez generated scout buzz early in the course of the spring when he broke camp with the full-season group (a number of scouts with whom I crossed paths throughout my April run by means of Florida talked about him as lacking from the Jays prospect checklist), however over time, his lack of plate self-discipline and pitch recognition wreaked havoc on his offensive efficiency. He does have above-average bat velocity, pushed by an authoritative high hand by means of contact.
There may be a lot work to be performed along with his protection. Hernandez catches from a really excessive crouch and sometimes receives pitches transferring away from the center of the zone, making him a poor framer across the edges at current. He’s twitchy and athletic, displaying the occasional plus pop time, however his exit from his crouch may be very inconsistent and his accuracy wavers:
Sammy Hernandez (@Samuel_H02) goes and will get the ball on the surface, and pulls it to the grass.
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) June 7, 2023
Regardless that he’s a low-probability prospect, it’s a pleasant return for the Cardinals to get a teenage catcher with good bat velocity in change for a participant they had been prepared to DFA. The industry-wide stock at catcher is shallow and tends to lack the type of offensive expertise Hernandez has, unstable although he could also be. Accruing depth at that place, which tends to pump out late-bloomers, is sensible. And for the Blue Jays, who’re preventing to remain in playoff place in what’s arguably baseball’s hardest division, there isn’t any time to waste throughout this era when the group is sort of utterly wholesome. Hyun Jin Ryu doesn’t look nice, however he and Chad Inexperienced, who begins his rehab task tomorrow, are almost again from their 2022 TJs.