Exit Interview: Randy Choate

2014 Major League Stats: 4.50 ERA, 61 G, 36.0 IP, 1.11 WHIP
2015 Role: Reliever in the Major Leagues

It was a tough season for Randy Choate. When he signed with the Cardinals before the 2013 season, many of us breathed a sigh of relief as the Cardinals finally had an elite LOOGY for the bullpen. It was something they had lacked as they tried to squeeze every ounce of it out of lesser pitchers under Tony La Russa. Entering 2014 though, Mike Matheny and the team wanted more out of Randy Choate than his ability to get left handed batters out at elite levels, they wanted him to pitch against right handers and whole innings.

The problem is that, as anyone could see, Choate has never been very effective against right handed batters. Their career slash line against him is .288/.403/.403. The result was being placed in a lot of bad situations and some mop-up duty that killed his overall season numbers.  Right handers hit .385 against him.  [click to continue…]

Exit Interview: Tony Cruz

2014 Major League Stats: .200/.270/.259, 1 HR in 50 G
2014 Minor League Stats: 1-for-5 in 2 G in AA
2015 Role: Backup catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals

If you’ve read my blog for long, you know I’m not Tony Cruz‘s biggest fan. The reasons why were illustrated a little bit this season when Yadier Molina went down for a significant chunk of time and Cruz got a bulk of time behind the plate.

The ERA of the pitching staff went up, neither Cruz nor A.J. Pierzynski showed the ability to throw their mother out on the base paths, and he didn’t really hit very well. There are a number of reasons for that, that I think.  [click to continue…]

Exit Interview: Nick Greenwood

2014 Major League Stats: 4.75 ERA, 19 G, 36 IP, 1.14 WHIP
2014 Minor League Stats: 3.02 ERA, 27 G, 50.2 IP, 1.03 WHIP
2015 Role: Reliever for Triple-A Memphis

Nick Greenwood was one of those players who I had high hopes for, but never seemed to be chosen to make the leap to the majors. Since he came over as the forgotten piece in the trade that sent Ryan Ludwick to San Diego and brought us Jake Westbrook, there has been more than once I spoke of his potential to be a quality left handed reliever for the Cardinals. He finally got an opportunity to break through this year.

Greenwood had two stints this year with the Cardinals. Both remarkably similar with a 4.74 ERA in the first cup of coffee and a 4.76 ERA in the second. He worked his way in as a mop up reliever most for Mike Matheny, but did pitch well when he did get the opportunity to pitch a meaningful game. [click to continue…]

Exit Interview: Randal Grichuk

2014 Major League Stats: .245/.278/.400, 3 HR in 47 G
2014 Minor League Stats: .259/.311/.493, 25 HR in 108 G in AAA
2015 Role: Outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals

When Randal Grichuk arrived in the trade that send David Freese and Fernando Salas to the Angels, he was the overlooked player. By the end of the season, that would change for Cardinals fans as he claimed the reigns of the starting job in right field in September for a position that was much in need of some offense.

Grichuk, 22, made his debut in Triple-A this season and hit a team leading 25 home runs. He was hitting .310 in Memphis when the Cardinals promoted him at the end of April in an attempt to stir the St. Louis offense. It turned out to be a short lived stint as he stuck around for just ten days before being demoted back to Memphis, hitting just .143 while he was up.  [click to continue…]

Exit Interview: Joe Kelly

2014 Major League Stats: 4.20 ERA, 17 G, 96.1 IP, 1.35 WHIP for STL/BOS
2014 Minor League Stats: 2.61 ERA, 3 G, 10.1 IP, 1.36 WHIP in AAA
2015 Role: Starting Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox

Joe Kelly was one of everyone’s favorite Cardinals pitchers. The fun-loving character was a joy to have around, so it made sense when his trade, along with Allen Craig, in July rocked the team. One of my favorites for a few reasons. First, his ability to dance in and out of trouble, or whenever he felt like it, was unparalleled. Some may say it was luck, and it’s easy to dismiss it as so, but his mound presence didn’t change regardless of the situation. He always looked in control.

In April, after just three dominating starts (0.59 ERA, 15.1 IP), Kelly strained his left hamstring and hit the disabled list. What was originally supposed to be a DL stint that was just a couple weeks, he didn’t see a Major League mound again until July. Potentially even then Kelly was rushed back into the Majors, posting a 7.32 ERA over 19.2 innings in July before being dealt to the Red Sox in a deal that brought John Lackey back to the Cardinals. Kelly’s first start as a Red Sox pitcher would be in St. Louis where he tossed 7 innings of 3 hit baseball and allowed just a single run in a Red Sox win. [click to continue…]