For the fourth straight year, we’re taking some time in that time between the end of the season and the winter meetings to discuss each player that made an appearance on the St. Louis roster this season. Whether they played almost every day or never actually got into a game, they get covered in this series. All stats are exclusively their time in St. Louis. Just think of this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a quick evaluation before heading home for the winter.
Player: Nick Greenwood
Season stats: 0-1, Infinity ERA, 1 games, 0 IP, 2 H, 1 HR, Inf WHIP, Inf FIP, No bWAR
Overall grade: D
Positives: Won 13 games in Memphis….had his moment in the big leagues, even though it didn’t turn out the way he would have liked….appeared in 32 games, 22 of them starts….had pretty tolerable control, walking just 25 in 129 innings pitched.
Negatives: As noted above, his one shot in the bigs this year was about as bad as you can think…had a 5.79 ERA in Memphis, showing yet again that wins for a pitcher aren’t exactly a great benchmark to judge by….had a WHIP of 1.48 in AAA….was designated for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster, when they activated Matt Adams in September but cleared waivers.
Overview: There’s not exactly much to say here, is there? Greenwood is the definition of an organizational soldier. Somebody has to take the ball every fifth day at the various levels of the farm system. While we tend to focus on the cream of the crop, 75% of those that are down there aren’t necessarily any great shakes, aren’t going to be folks that get a shot at the bigs, but they keep playing, keep the dream alive. Sometimes they break through, like Greenwood did last year. I mean, heck, he made the last regular season start of the 2014 season! Sure, it was after the club clinched and they scratched Adam Wainwright, but it’s something!
Greenwood was a replacement level pitcher last year, roughly. This year, though, things caught up with him. The problem with being in that 75% is that everything has to break just right to get your time in the big leagues. And, odds are, they aren’t going to break that way more than once. If you don’t have the ability to take advantage, well, you get a season that resembles Greenwood’s season.
(Of course, it’s pretty telling that he didn’t get the Goat in the game he pitched this season, given that he blew a save and got a loss against Pittsburgh, which made for a painful loss. Much more focus on Trevor Rosenthal blowing the original save and Matheny putting a guy like that out there in the 14th inning to try to lock the game down in that one.)
Outlook: Greenwood’s off the 40-man, so there’s no reason to think he couldn’t be pitching for Memphis, either starting or relieving, next season. It’ll just depend on how the Cards want to structure things, who they want to get time with the Redbirds. If they have a spot, Greenwood might take it. After all, that’s what organizational soldiers are for, right?