June 18, 2024

An untested player has received regular playing time and is beginning to establish himself among Cardinals supporters.

For several years, St. Louis Cardinals supporters have been told that outfielder depth is critical. When expected starters fail to deliver, whether due to poor performance or injury, numerous unknown players step in and are later moved on.

To replace these voids, the Cardinals have provided consistent playing time to Justin Williams, Ben DeLuzio, Corey Dickerson, Austin Dean, and Juan Yepez in recent seasons. But none of these players have remained on the roster. Fans observe these guys and realize they have a very limited role for the squad and are a short-term solution. With so many previous precedents to draw from, do we currently have a comparable predicament with the 2024 team? Is this a long-term solution that the team has been seeking for years? The Cardinals are figuring out what they have with Michael Siani.

The 2024 Cardinals began the season with a lot of uncertainty in their starting outfield. Tommy Edman has been on the injured list all season, with little indication that he will return soon. Dylan Carlson sustained an unlucky injury in the final days of Spring Training, ending his chances of becoming a regular starter again. Lars Nootbaar has recovered from his rib injury, but has underperformed during the season. With the offense struggling to be productive in any area for the majority of the season, the club is in need of depth to remain in wild card contention. Siani has been a gentle answer to their prayers.

Siani appeared in 42 of the team’s 47 games in 2024. His face value slash line is not particularly intriguing, with a.238/.299/.313/.611 (77 OPS+) and only three extra-base hits. The underlying statistics, however, look good. Siani is an outstanding defensive player, ranking in the 99th percentile for fielding run value, 99th in Range (outs over average), and 81st in sprint speed. This club needs offense, but Siani is filling a significant gap in centerfield. The bat has recently heated up, with Siani hitting his first major league home run over the weekend. The month of May has been very promising compared to his April performance.

 

Reds prospect Michael Siani makes MLB debut

April slash line: .132/.250/.184.434

May slash line: .341/.357/.439/.796

With important players hoping to make a meaningful return to the lineup, the Cardinals are treading water to keep the club and organization relevant. As history has shown, projected starters will be given opportunities again, while depth players will return to restricted playing time and will eventually look for greater opportunities on another team. But in the case of Michael Siani, this may be done differently.

The Cardinals have a lot of decisions to make this summer, ahead of a potential trade deadline. However, one topic must be noticed and discussed: Michael Siani’s future with the Cardinals club.

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