Exit Interview: Dan Johnson

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: Dan Johnson

Season stats: 12 games, 21 PA, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, .158/.238/.158, 11 OPS+, -0.3 bWAR

Hero/Goat: None

Overall grade: D

Positives: Kept his streak of years appearing in the big leagues alive….had two hits in his first game with the Cardinals….hit .260 with 15 home runs in Memphis….slugged .449 down off of Beale Street.

Negatives: Minimal time in the bigs, but didn’t do a whole lot with it….after that first game, went 1-for-15, with that one hit coming in his next-to-last game in the bigs….demoted when Brandon Moss was acquired and was not promoted in September, though that was in part to seeing what Matt Adams could do….had to be DFA when demoted, but cleared waivers and stayed with the Cards, so he’s no longer on the 40-man roster.

Overview: In some regards, Johnson did what the club expected him to do when they signed him to that minor league contract–hit in Memphis and be an insurance policy in case injuries created a hole.  He may have proved that he was a Quad-A player with his strong season in Triple-A and his struggles in the big leagues, but it’s not like he got regular time with St. Louis to see if he could hit a little at the big league level.  21 plate appearances isn’t exactly a huge audition.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the club did him wrong or they should have looked at him longer.  With Mark Reynolds doing fairly well, there wasn’t a whole lot of need for Johnson.  His struggles may have led to John Mozeliak going after Moss, but I think he probably would have done that anyway.  Johnson’s track record in the bigs as of late isn’t exactly stellar, after all.  I just wonder how things might have gone differently had he hit in that short July trial.

Outlook: It still looks like Johnson can hit, at least at AAA, so he’ll probably be playing in someone’s organization next season.  There’s no particular reason that can’t be the Cardinals, especially since he’s not taking up room on the 40-man.

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