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: Edward Mujica
Season stats: 2-1, 37 SV, 2.78 ERA, 65 games, 64.2 IP, 60 H, 5 BB, 46 K, 1.01 WHIP
Hero/Goat: Hero 2, Goat 7
Overall grade: B-
Positives: When Mitchell Boggs went down in flames, someone had to close games. Matheny bypassed Trevor Rosenthal, reasoning he wasn’t ready, and selected Mujica. Even though his past ninth inning experiences hadn’t been all that successful, he took to the role immediately, running off 21 straight saves before blowing an opportunity. He didn’t overpower anyone, though his splitter did rack up a number of strikeouts. Without the solid five months of work the Cards got out of Mujica, it seems unlikely they would have made the playoffs and they’d never been able to win the division.
Negatives: The problem for Mujica–and most likely for his wallet, given the fact he is now a free agent–is that the baseball season runs six months. In the month of September, he put up an 11.05 ERA and finally was replaced in the ninth by Rosenthal. He only had two outings in August where he didn’t allow at least one hit and those were both one-out affairs. He made the postseason roster, but struggled in his only appearance.
Outlook: That last month really overshadowed all the good work Mujica did, both as a closer in 2013 and a bullpen stabilizer in 2012. Mujica will most likely find work somewhere, though not at the price he might have commanded before the middle of August. You tip your cap and hope for the best, but if the splitter isn’t splitting, there are going to be rough days ahead.