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: Eric Fornataro
Season stats: 0-0, 4.66 ERA, 8 games, 9.2 IP, 11 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 1.241 WHIP, 82 ERA+
Overall grade: C
Positives: Made his major league debut April 21 with a scoreless inning against the Mets….five of his eight outings, he had no runs charged to him….limited left-handers to a .214 average in 16 plate appearances.
Negatives: Was stroked for a .320 average in 26 plate appearances by righties….he allowed two runs in each of the other three appearances he made….was not called up in September even though he was on the 40-man roster and had already used his option.
Overview: There’s not just a lot to say about Fornataro. Even though he can run his fastball up there at about 94 and has a changeup and curve to go with it, he still only struck out a batter every three innings. While this wasn’t a terribly tumultuous year in the Cardinal bullpen by any means, the fact that he only got a handful of innings may say something about his standing in the organization.
Outlook: Fornataro will be 27 in January, so what we see now is pretty much what we are going to get. With the significant number of power arms in the bullpen, it would seem unlikely that Fornataro will get a lot of playing time in St. Louis, but he can be a handy organizational soldier, bouncing back and forth from St. Louis to Memphis if necessary.