Cardinals promote top prospect Masyn Winn from Memphis, place Nootbaar on IL

Cardinals promote top prospect Masyn Winn from Memphis, place Nootbaar on IL

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals announced late Thursday night that top prospect Masyn Winn has been called up from Memphis and will join the team on Friday.

Winn, 21, hit his career-high 18th home run on Thursday night as part of a 3-of-4 night.

In an interview earlier this week, Winn said he was “100 percent” ready for the call to the majors when it came.

An injury to Lars Nootbaar forced the roster move as Nootbaar was placed on the injured list Thursday night after he had to come out of Wednesday night’s game when he was hit by a foul ball.

Winn said in the interview with STLSportsPage that he didn’t know when the call would come, but knew what he was going to do once it did come.

“If I go up there I am going to compete to the best of my abilities,” he said. “I think in spring training everybody got a little taste of what I can be. Throughout this year I’ve tried to get into my power potential.

“I don’t know how it’s going to feel when I get called up. I might have some butterflies I think in my head it’s just baseball each level we get to.”

Winn was hitting .288 for the Redbirds with the 18 home runs, 61 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. It’s a season that has impressed Memphis manager Ben Johnson.

“He wants to be in the big leagues but it’s not taking away from his focus here,” Johnson said. “He’s a hard worker, he wants it badly and he’s got a lot of talent but he also can help provide energy for the ballclub. He’s a vocal leader out there. He likes to direct traffic.

“You know he has tools. You know there’s a high ceiling there but he’s a leader too. That’s pretty cool for me to see. He’s always the first one to the field every day; he’s the first one in the cage. He loves the work and asks for extra work. He’s a really good young man.

“It would be hard to keep him here after that deadline.”

The deadline Johnson was referring to was the rule that a player can’t exceed more than 45 days of service time in order to retain his rookie status for the following year. That deadline passed on Thursday.

One of the reasons that deadline is important is because one of the provisions in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is that if a player wins the Rookie of the Year award, the club will receive a bonus selection after the first round of the following year’s amateur draft.

The other limit that a player can’t exceed is 130 at-bats, but that is easier to monitor than the arbitrary service time limit.

“I don’t know too much about the politics of it,” Winn said. “I definitely think there are still moves to be made this year. When my time comes I will be ready for it.”

The Cardinals also placed Nolan Gorman on the injured list before Thursday night’s game because of a sore back and replaced him with outfielder Richie Palacios, leaving them short an infielder.

Winn was the Cardinals’ second-round pick in the 2020 draft and he would become the third member of that class to reach the major leagues, joining Jordan Walker and Alec Burleson

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports

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