Exit Interview: Justin Masterson

2014 Major League Stats: 5.88 ERA, 28 G, 128.2 IP, 1.63 WHIP
2014 Minor League Stats: 5.40 ERA, 2 G, 11.2 IP, 1.46 WHIP in AAA
2015 Role: Starting Pitcher in the Majors

You can chalk Justin Masterson up on the list of failed John Mozeliak trades. Received in July for outfield prospect James Ramsey, Masterson was just coming off a knee injury and a rough first half in Cleveland. The idea was that the Cardinals had identified a few things that Masterson could fix and that they could turn him into a innings eater for them down the stretch. That idea turned out to be wrong as he started six games for the Cardinals with a 7.90 ERA before being removed from the rotation.

Masterson was just a year removed a 14-10 season where he had a 3.45 ERA and was an American League All Star. From what I understand, he was also the best right handed starting pitcher against right handed batters in baseball in 2013 as well. He will be a free agent this winter and will likely find someone willing to give him an opportunity to regain his All Star form. [click to continue…]

Exit Interview: Pete Kozma

2014 Major League Stats: .304/.385/.435, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 14 G
2014 Minor League Stats: .248/.330/.372, 8 HR, 54 RBI in 117 G in AAA
2015 Role: Bench for St. Louis

It might have sucked a little bit to be Pete Kozma this year. After being the starting shortstop for the Cardinals all last season, Kozma was relegated to Triple-A Memphis after the signing of Jhonny Peralta. It could have been easy to excuse him for to lose motivation, but he seems to have not done that. He put together a solid season in Memphis, his best minor league year since he played in Single-A and was still, according to Baseball Reference, younger than the average Triple-A player.

Even in St. Louis he put together a decent showing in a small sample size. It’s that small sample size that probably helps earn him a bench role next season when he is out of options. He’s shown he can play good defense, if he can hit roughly his minor league line from this season, he’s a very workable player off the bench.

 

Exit Interview: Kevin Siegrist

2014 Major League Stats: 6.82 ERA, 37 G, 30.1 IP, 1.58 WHIP
2014 Minor League Stats: 0.79 ERA, 11 G, 11.1 IP, 1.15 WHIP in AA/AAA
2015 Role: Reliever for St. Louis

It was a disappointing year for Kevin Siegrist to say the least. After a historic 2013 debut, Siegrist really struggled to find his footing in the Majors in 2014. He pitched solidly, but with occasional bouts of trouble, unlike last season where he just dominated. Near the end of May, Siegrist made a trip to the disabled list with a forearm strain. When he came back in July, he struggled posting a 12.38 ERA over 9 appearances and 8 innings of work before the team sent him back to Memphis for a couple weeks.

He was no more reliable when he returned in September, allowing 4 runs in 2 innings of work. In September he spoke about how it still hurt him to pitch, which was reason enough to keep him on the sidelines. He did not make the postseason roster. [click to continue…]

Joe Maddon leaving the Rays

This morning it was revealed that Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has exercised the exit option in his managerial contract and is now a free agent. Maddon was entering the final year of a three year extension and the team had tried to reach another deal with Maddon. While there is not yet any official information on where Maddon is going, it’s doubtful to think that he made this move without an idea of a plan in place.

For the Rays, this piles on an already turbulent off-season. The franchise failed to win 90 games for the first time since 2009 and finished below .500 for the first time since 2007 this year. They lost General Manager Andrew Friedman to the Dodgers and now Joe Maddon, their manager for the last nine seasons. That’s a lot of turnover for an organization that had been a model of consistency over the past few seasons. [click to continue…]

Exit Interview: Xavier Scruggs

2014 Major League Stats: .200/.333/.267, 0 HR, 2 RBI in 9 G
2014 Minor League Stats: .286/.370/.494, 21 HR, 87 RBI in 135 G in AAA
2015 Role: First Baseman for Triple-A Memphis

A legitimate right handed power threat, Xavier Scruggs has hit 20+ home runs in the minor leagues in each of the last five seasons. This year he made the jump to Triple-A Memphis and continued crushing the ball posting career highs in batting average, slugging, doubles, triples, hits and even brought the strikeouts down to boot. He had a terrific year for the Redbirds and played a core role in their lineup all season until his September promotion in the middle of their postseason run to provide support for Matt Adams.

Or so the theory was, anyway. Scruggs was called up on September 4th and started that night. But it would be over a week until he got his next chance to start at first base. He didn’t get enough playing time to really show what he could do, instead having to rely on trying to make his mark in the occasional pinch hit appearance. He went 1-for-4 as a pinch hitter with a walk. He did not make the postseason roster. [click to continue…]