Exit Interview: Brandon Moss

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: Brandon Moss

Season stats: 51 games, 151 PA, 11 R, 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1 CS, 17 BB, 42 K, .250/.344/.409, 104 OPS+, 0.2 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 4, Goat 5

Overall grade: C

Positives: Had a great moment with a walk-off home run against the Nationals….tied up Game 4 of the NLDS (and almost gave the Cards the lead) with a pinch-hit single, his only hit in three postseason at bats….his second Cardinal hit was a walk-off single as well….had his two best average months of the year after coming over to St. Louis….hit .275 with two homers in September….hit .370 with a 1.091 OPS on the first pitch….was better in medium-leverage situations, hitting .263/.359/.468.

Negatives: Scuffled in some big situations, including hitting .095 with two outs and runners in scoring position….also hit just .198 in high-leverage situations….with two outs in an inning, that average was just .163….hit just .200 as a pinch-hitter….hit .205 at home….hit .120 against the Cubs and .156 against the Pirates.

Overview: It’s hard to know just what to make of Moss.  On the one hand, he came into St. Louis with a strike against him because he cost the team prized prospect Rob Kaminsky.  For a guy that was struggling and was not guaranteed to be around more than a couple of months, that was a high price to pay.  Even though there were opportunities for Moss in St. Louis, it didn’t seem like he completely grabbed them.

Then again, he was coming off of hip surgery and said that he was finally getting to where he could do the workouts he liked around the time of the trade.  He hit four home runs in two months, which means he hit just as many as Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina did in fewer plate appearances, so he does have the power to be an impact player.  The track record of late, though, is a mixed bag.

John Mozeliak gambled that Moss’s power would let Mark Reynolds rest and cover first base while Matt Adams was out.  Instead, it turned out that Stephen Piscotty got a lot of the time there.  Moss, who was extremely excited about coming to St. Louis, did have his moments, just enough to make you wonder about 2016.

Outlook: The problem for Moss is that he was making $6.5 million this year and he’s arbitration eligible.  With Adams and Piscotty, not to mention any offseason acquisition, paying that much for a power bench bat could be a little iffy.  Mozeliak has continued to make noises like he wants to keep Moss around, though, and if they can work out some deal that makes that salary significantly less, they just may do it.  He can’t platoon with Adams, given they are both lefties, but Moss can also play the outfield and bring a little flexibility to the bench.  I don’t know quite how, but I can’t shake the feeling Moss will be in Cardinal red in 2016.

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