Exit Interview: Keith Butler

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Name: Keith Butler

Season stats: 0-0, 4.05 ERA, 16 games, 20.0 IP, 13 H, 11 BB, 16 K, 1.20 WHIP

Hero/Goat: Goat 2

Overall grade: B-

Positives: Butler was another one of those strong young arms that I, at least, hadn’t heard much about before he made it to the bigs. That ERA is a little deceptive, as his last outing in August he allowed four runs in 1.2 innings in the debacle that was Star Wars Night.  The game was already well out of reach, but those runs lifted his ERA from 2.45 to his year-end mark. For the most part, though, he was pretty effective, allowing runs in just three of his 16 appearances.

Negatives: Well, he wasn’t the dominant factor that Kevin Siegrist was, which may have played against him somewhat.  There were so many strong arms in the bullpen that you really had to stand out to stick.  His command was a little shaky as well, which is probably to be expected with a young pitcher.

Outlook:  I was pretty surprised when Butler wasn’t recalled when the rosters expanded in September.  It seemed strange to have a guy that had been effective in the bigs sit out the rest of the season, but it may be they wanted him to rest up.  Whatever the case, assuming he’s not a trade chip this offseason (which, like most other young pitchers in this organization, he might be), he should be in the mix for the St. Louis bullpen next year, perhaps riding the Memphis Shuttle once again.

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