The last couple of years, 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 2014 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.
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Player: Joey Butler
Season stats: 6 games, 6 PA, 1 BB, 3 K, .000/.167/.000 -48 OPS+
Overall grade: C-
Positives: Well, umm, he got called up….and drew a walk.
Negatives: He didn’t get a hit or provide instant right-handed power….struck out in half of his plate appearances.
Overview: You’d forgotten about this Butler, hadn’t you? Truth be told, I had as well until I started looking at the list of folks that had made an appearance in a Cardinals game this year. Once you see the name, though, it all comes back. This was our precursor to questionable Matheny outfield maneuvering. Butler never got a start, never had a chance to really show what he could do. After all, the year before in limited play with Texas (limited, yes, but double the amount of time he got in St. Louis) he had two doubles and put up a .967 OPS.
Yet even when the Cardinal offense was floundering, when Peter Bourjos was doing nothing from the right side and when a guy with power could be helpful, Butler never got to do more than a few pinch-hitting appearances. Butler was quickly moved out for Randal Grichuk‘s first tour of duty and eventually was sold to Japan, where he hit .231 and had two home runs in 66 plate appearances. Maybe John Mozeliak and Matheny could make a snap judgement on him that turned out to be correct.
Outlook: As far as I can tell, he’s still on the roster of the Orix Buffaloes, so maybe he’ll have more success with them in 2015. If he gets another shot at the majors, it’ll probably be with an American League team to give him the option to DH, but nobody is likely to be clamoring for him anytime soon.