Exit Interview: Eric Fornataro

2014 Major League Stats: 4.66 ERA, 8 G, 9.2 IP, 1.24 WHIP
2014 Minor League Stats: 2.57 ERA, 44 G, 56 IP, 1.18 WHIP in AAA
2015 Role: Reliever for Triple-A Memphis

Eric Fornataro had two cups of coffee in St. Louis this season, making his Major League debut on April 21st against the New York Mets, pitching a perfect 1-2-3 inning of relief work. He would go on to pitch two more before he started regularly putting guys on base and that led to his demotion in mid-May. His return in June against the Dodgers didn’t go well either.

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Exit Interview: Joey Butler

2014 Major League Stats: 0-for-5, 1 BB, 6 G
2014 Minor League Stats: .360/.481/.547, 4 HR, 20 RBI in 31 G in AAA
2015 Role: Playing in Japan or for a Triple-A team

When the Cardinals acquired Joey Butler last October, I pointed him out as a solid platoon outfielder for Jon Jay in center field. That seemed like a good option until the Cardinals acquired Peter Bourjos to do the exact same thing the very next month. The right handed Butler has some holes in his swing against right handed pitching, but his left handed pitching really well. So after a great start in Memphis, he got a brief stint with the Cardinals’ big league club. He went hitless in six plate appearances before the club elected to sell his contract to the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.

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Exit Interview: Keith Butler

2014 Major League Stats: 2 G, 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 1 BB
2014 Minor League Stats: 0.84 ERA, 9 G, 10.2 IP, 0.94 WHIP in AAA
2015 Role: Rehabbing from Tommy John

Keith Butler was expected to be one of those guys that played a pivotal role as the 4th or 5th right handed reliever out of the bullpen this season for St. Louis, but that role never developed for him. He pitched well enough in Spring Training to earn a bullpen spot, but after getting blown out for five runs in his 2014 season debut, he only got one more opportunity before being demoted. He pitched well enough in Memphis though, posting an ERA and a WHIP below 1 until going down in with injury in May.

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Exit Interview: George Kottaras

2014 Major League Stats: .233/.351/.533, 3 HR, 5 RBI in 18 games
2014 Minor League Stats: .190/.284/.345, 4 HR, 13 RBI in 27 games in AAA
2015 Role: Backup catcher in the Majors

After the injury to Yadier Molina, the Cardinals claimed George Kottaras off waivers from the Indians to give themselves a veteran backup option for Tony Cruz. He would start just one game with St. Louis and catch a total off 11 innings in Cardinal red before being waived by the Cardinals when they signed A.J. Pierzynski.

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The organizational vision for 2015 begins to focus

John Mozeliak and Mike Matheny spoke to the media this afternoon to discuss a little bit about how the season ended, but mainly where the club goes from here to prepare for the 2015 season. As a result of today’s discussion we now have begun to get a clearer picture of where Mozeliak intends to take the club over the offseason and what it’s goals are.

We heard from Bill DeWitt Jr earlier this week about payroll and their expectation that it will escalate in future years to accommodate rising salaries of their young players. He also made note that the team has the means to add another core player via free agency or trade if an opportunity presented itself. While he declined to say exactly how much he foresees payroll rising, it is confidence inspiring that the team will attempt to identify and retain some of its young players going forward.

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