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.
Player: David Freese
Season stats: 138 games, 521 PA, 53 R, 26 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 60 RBI, 47 BB, 106 K, .262/.340/.381
Hero/Goat: Hero 6, Goat 12
Overall grade: C-
Positives: Freese had a nice 20-game hitting streak starting about the middle of May and also picked up his hitting when Kolten Wong was called up, keeping Wong on the bench. Plus he gave us plenty of Imo’s comments after his commercials started hitting the airwaves during the games on Fox Sports Midwest.
Negatives: No matter what measure you use, 2013 wasn’t a good year for the St. Louis native. He didn’t hit his first home run until May 17, the day his 20-game hit streak started, and wound up with less than half of his 2012 total in that department. His average dropped by 30 points, his OPS by 110. The defensive metrics weren’t kind to him either and we saw a lot of him heading to the bench late in games. Part of that might have flowed out of back trouble he had in spring training, but it’s hard to know how much.
Outlook: It would seem like Freese’s days as a full-time Cardinal starter are probably over. While he still may be on the team next year, he would seem more likely to be the bench bat assuming that Wong can handle second base. If he’s healthy, he could upgrade the bench dramatically just by himself. Freese may also be bandied about during trade talks as well, but there are strong odds he’ll return for next season.