Exit Interview: Seth Maness

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: Seth Maness

Season stats: 5-2, 1 SV, 2.32 ERA, 66 games, 62 IP, 65 H, 13 BB, 35 K, 1.26 WHIP

Hero/Goat: Hero 2, Goat 5

Overall grade: B+

Positives: For a guy that grew up watching Ozzie Smith turning two and because of that has a love of a well-turned double play, Maness was a revelation.  There seemed to be no situation that couldn’t be solved by Maness coming in, throwing one pitch, and getting two outs.  For a long time, he had more outs than pitches thrown to start his career, which is just insane.  Maness didn’t have to throw the double play ball, of course, but that was what everyone is going to take away from this season.

Negatives: So often Maness had to get the double play because he let the leadoff batter of an inning get on.  It sometimes seemed he couldn’t pitch if there wasn’t a runner on base, so he’d put one there by walk or hit.  With all the flamethrowers in the bullpen, Maness stood out, getting more like a strikeout every two innings rather than one an inning like some of his compatriots.  Of course, his at-bat against Jonny Gomes is still fresh in the minds of Cardinal fans, as it well might have been the turning point of the recent World Series.

Outlook: Maness looks to be a classic regression candidate, as more of those ground balls are going to get through or, at best, only get one out instead of two.  Still, he’s young and there’s plenty of talent there, so expect him to be a force in the Cardinal bullpen again next year.

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