Inbox: Does Wisdom fit in the Cards' future?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

September 19th, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals spend their final off-day of the regular season in Cincinnati, let's take a dive into some of the topics currently on your mind. A reminder that if you submit a question for future Inbox consideration, please also include your name and hometown.

What is the status of Patrick Wisdom? Why has he not been called up?

-- Barry B., St. Louis

Wisdom was named the playoff MVP on Sunday evening after helping lead Memphis to the Pacific Coast League title. After hitting a career-best 31 home runs during the season, Wisdom hit .278 with two homers and nine RBIs in 10 postseason games. But while so many Memphis players earned opportunities to join the big league club this year, Wisdom is still waiting for his first.

Submit an Inbox question

Wisdom's status as a non-roster player has hurt his chances at times, as has the fact that the Cardinals haven't had a great need for corner infielders, particularly with the surprise emergence of . The Cardinals do plan to add a few additional players to the Major League roster later this week after Memphis plays in Tuesday's Triple-A championship game. Wisdom could be among those callups.

Ultimately, the club will have to decide in the next two months whether Wisdom has a fit in this organization moving forward. If he's not added to the 40-man roster this fall, Wisdom will be available to other teams in the December Rule 5 Draft.

I hated to see get hurt, but the truth is that Tommy Pham should have been in center field with Fowler in left or right. Is there any chance they finally move Fowler when he comes back, to improve the center-field defense?

-- Steve B., Belleville, Ill.

It does not appear as if the Cardinals are going to make any drastic changes to their outfield alignment for the remainder of this year. But I do think this is a conversation the organization will need to have leading into 2018.

You could argue that the Cardinals currently have four players on their Major League roster -- Pham, , and -- who are superior defensive center fielders to Fowler. Sliding Fowler to one of the corner-outfield spots (likely left field) would be a simple way to upgrade the outfield defense without changing personnel.

If comes back, will Matt Carpenter stay at third or return to first base?

-- Stephen S., Tulsa, Okla.

First off, Gyorko is expected to be cleared to return to the field on Tuesday, when the Cardinals open their series against the Reds. That being said, I would suspect that Carpenter will continue to get starts at first and third base over the next two weeks. The Cardinals are going to want to get Gyorko involved, but there's no minimizing the impact Martinez has had since becoming an everyday presence in the lineup. The Cards aren't going to simply sit him over the season's final days. Look for the club to rotate the three players -- Carpenter, Gyorko and Martinez -- into two positions.

With all the success the Memphis hitting instructor has had with that team and the players called up, I think it's time for a change in instructors in St. Louis. What is your feeling on this?

-- Bobby P., Little Rock, Ark.

I do expect coaching staff changes coming for the Cardinals, who are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Whether that will lead to promotions for any of the Triple-A coaches, I can't say.

Memphis' hitting coach, Mark Budaska, has worked with several hitters on the Cardinals' roster, and many of them have credited Budaska with helping set them up for success. You might remember, too, that Budaska did spend a few weeks with the Major League team over the summer while Bill Mueller was away for personal reasons.

Do you expect the Cardinals to go out into the open market for some bullpen help?

-- Brandon T., Houston

This will definitely be on the Cardinals' winter to-do list, as the club needs to address its closer situation and add to its depth. The Cardinals already know that they'll be without for at least the majority of the season, and three of their current late-inning relievers -- , and Zach Duke -- are due to be free agents.